Let’s be real here: (pre-)ordering a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S has been an absolute nightmare. Not only has there been huge demand with limited supply, but it has also been very apparent that scalpers have been using bots to beat out individuals hoping to get one of the next-generation consoles.
One possible solution Spencer floated was the idea of a reservation system where consumers would be able to reserve a console that would be built sometime in the future: “I’ll put some money down, I know my machine’s getting built January 20th, and I’ll get it on February 1st.”
While many have lamented the fact that retailers like Walmart, GameStop, and Best Buy have not done their part in preventing bots on their sites, Spencer remained ambivalent about the relationship with retailers.
He noted the importance of the retail space as a way to make the launch of a console special – “we actually want November 10th to be a moment” – but also grappled with how perhaps lining up outside storefronts could be an outdated model.
The reservation model he proposed is a sort of compromise, where “the retailer [could] fulfill the order, but just so people can have more clarity on when they can get a console.”