PlayStation 5 consoles are the second most targeted item for retail scalper bots as they continue to pose a major threat to retailers in the runup to Christmas.
Sony’s PS5 continues to be a key target for scalper groups, online communities who use special software to buy up stock when it becomes available and resell it severely inflated prices, according to new research.
Bot detection and mitigation specialist Netacea says that between April and June this year, PS5 consoles were the second most targeted item behind Nike’s Air Jordan Retro 1 High OG sneakers.
“It’s an especially difficult time for retailers,” Netacea’s chief technology officer Andy Still said.
“In addition to supply chain issues adding to the challenges of the last two years, they increasingly face the risk of bots buying their most popular items before their customers—a trend that negatively impacts prices and a brand’s reputation”.
It comes as Game and Argos prepare to receive major shipments of PS5 stock which has been drip-fed to UK retailers since the console launched last year.
The console has been dogged by major supply chain issues largely cause by a pandemic-driven shortage of semiconductors.
While the PS5 is now confirmed to be the fastest selling console in history, stock still cannot meet demand, and the drip-feeding of new units makes it a prime target for scalper groups.
According to Netacea, which monitors patterns of bot traffic and online discussion groups (both public and private), gaming graphics cards, Yeezy Boost 700 MNVN trainers and crypto mining graphics cards are all also major targets of these groups.
“Our ongoing research into how businesses can better protect themselves from bot activity also gives us deep insight into what’s happening across many retail sectors,” Still added.
“We are pleased to be able to share our findings with this first-of-its-kind index and hope that the information it provides will help retailers understand if they are likely to be a target.”