Gaming

A somber look at the PlayStation 5 crisis

Can’t buy a PlayStation 5? You’re not alone

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PlayStation 5

In 30 minutes from the moment I’m typing this sentence, Walmart, one of the few American retailers selling the PlayStation 5 online, will restock its console shelves with an undetermined number of units. If the restocking goes exactly as it has in the past few weeks, the retailer’s website will crash within the first few minutes. When it goes back up again, everything will have disappeared from the shelves.

If you’re one of the millions of gamers looking to bag a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X for the holidays, such an experience is familiar to you. Both Sony and Microsoft have fumbled their respective launches, leaving most of the hopeful without a console.

After weeks of the same, attempting to buy the new consoles and leaving empty-handed has turned into a shared global experience. Many are wondering when (or if) they are getting the device. Unfortunately, things aren’t as simple as they once were.

Day zero: zero stock

On November 10, the Xbox Series X and S dropped online for the first time. Though Microsoft’s console didn’t share in the same hype as its Sony counterpart, the new Xbox sold out within minutes. Faced with an even larger demand for the PlayStation 5, everyone portended much of the same for Sony’s console. Unsurprisingly, it was.

Days later, on November 12, the PlayStation finally launched. As expected, in the brief moment that “Buy Now” buttons opened, every retailing site either crashed or stalled. Most stores held a one-time drop. Meanwhile, Walmart did drops throughout the day. And, expectedly, every drop, one-time or gradual, sold out.

Only a handful received consoles on launch day: lucky pre-order purchases, even luckier same-day buyers, or, more likely, bots.

Rise of the machines

Most of the outcry revolves around despised bots refreshing every site and buying every stock before real people can do so. The bot’s owners, all of them scalpers, resell their supply at dramatic premiums. Hours after the initial launch, eBay had auctions going up to US$ 2,000. At the time of this writing, most entries hover around US$ 1,700. (For reference, the PlayStation 5 retails for only US$ 499.)

Neither Sony nor any authorized retailer explicitly commented on the bot takeover. Some (eventually) installed captcha measures to hopefully weed out bots from humans. It did little to stave to onslaught. Scalpers (or worse, scalper networks) thrived under the online-only purchasing system.

Should we, then, blame bots for the year’s most botched launch?

Bots, logistics, or supply?

Currently in our sights, bots and scalpers are easy targets. The systematic supply grab owes a lot of its shortages on the automated schemes of bots. Some scalper networks have even defended their actions. Supposedly, creating a scalping ecosystem creates jobs for scalpers who may have lost their jobs from recent furloughs.

However, a launch is hardly only a matter of consumers. There’s supply and demand, too. Didn’t Sony and Microsoft foresee the demand months ago?

Drumming up intense hype throughout the past few months, both companies naturally predicted a surge. It still wasn’t enough.

Sony, through the PlayStation’s official Twitter account, confirmed “unprecedented” demand for the PlayStation 5 series. It was still a surprise. Echoing the same, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan told a Russian outlet that “absolutely everything is sold.” Unfortunately for gamers, current predictions still estimate shortages lasting until spring next year.

Sony and Microsoft are hard-pressed to make more devices as soon as possible. However, with current COVID-19 restrictions, manufacturing facilities can’t work at full capacity. And it’s not just on the manufacturing side.

Recently, a logistics source confirmed that a lot of resources are still devoted to shipping COVID-19 aid, including PPEs and masks. With a potential vaccine on the horizon, supply transportation will certainly feel the crunch, leaving little room for less essential products like gaming consoles.

So, who’s to blame?

More than bots, scalpers, manufacturers, or logistics companies, the ongoing PlayStation 5 crisis pulls the curtain from an inherently broken system from a pre-COVID-19 era. The current global economy was, and is, ill-prepared for a global emergency.

Companies, manufacturers, and logistics did not anticipate an overwhelming demand for emergency products. Even now, the world is still aching for aid: from simple masks to scarce ventilators. We’re seeing the flaws only now because the new consoles are home appliances. Other launches this year weren’t as in-demand as the PlayStation 5. For example, with everyone staying indoors, not a lot of people are exactly lining up for a new iPhone 12. (Sorry, Apple.)

Fitbit’s Ventilator

On the other hand, a lot of people truly are jobless from a crumbling economy. Albeit a lackluster excuse, scalper networks do have a point that some people are reduced to less-than-stellar ways of making money amid the pandemic. (Not to defend scalping, though. It’s still a shady business.)

Throughout this entire shortage, one thing is clear: The world, as we know it, cannot adequately save itself from a global emergency. The fault inevitably rests on both individuals and systems who persistently refuse to accept the realities of the pandemic: from anti-maskers who put more people at risk to companies who haven’t prepared for the surge to governments who can’t provide aid for its citizenry.

Should you still get a PlayStation 5?

PlayStation 5

If you’re still inclined, Sony promises more stock before the end of the year. Anyone can still try their luck for a fresh device from the factory. More realistically, you can wait a few months without the new console; by then, Sony should have ironed out a lot of kinks and bugs.

No one is judging you if you do. No one is judging you if you don’t. But if you’re worried about the fear of missing out, just remember that not a lot of people have the PlayStation 5 yet, as much as we all would want one.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, remember the new stock I mentioned 30 minutes ago? Sold out in less than ten seconds. Go figure.

SEE ALSO: Sony PlayStation 5 Unboxing

Gaming

Steam announces when next sales are

Autumn, Winter, Spring

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Christmas is right around the corner. If you want to get a head start on buying something for yourself, it’s important to know when the biggest sales are. Now, gamers have a date on when they can bust out their wallets. Valve has officially announced when the autumn, winter, and spring Steam sales are happening.

The next sale — the traditional Autumn Sale — will happen between November 22 through 29. It’s quite a big gap for a head start, but it should give gamers a healthy library to play when the Christmas vacation starts.

On the other hand, if rush shopping is more you, the Winter Sale will happen between December 22 through January 5. It’s a Christmas treat.

If you’re familiar with Steam’s usual calendar of sales, you might not have heard of a Spring Sale before. Traditionally, the platform holds the Lunar New Year Sale in lieu of a seasonal theme. This time, Steam is keeping things consistent. The newly dubbed Spring Sale will happen between March 16 through 23. It’s also a later date than the previous Lunar New Year Sale.

Steam sales are usually a treat for gamers who play on a PC. Though the platform frowns on gigantic 95 percent off discounts now, platform-wide sales events can still house delectable bargains. Now, whether or not you’ll have time to play all of them is another story altogether.

SEE ALSO: Steam: No more 95% off sales

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Entertainment

Genshin Concert 2022 set on October 2

Celebrating 2 years of adventure

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Genshin Concert

HoYoverse has announced that the Genshin Concert 2022: Melodies of an Endless Journey event will officially commence on October 2, 2022, celebrating two years of Genshin Impact adventure.

Music producer Shiro Sagisu has been invited to be the music director of the global online concert that will last for about 75 minutes.

Known arranging the Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale soundtrack, Sagisu will be joined by the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra on top of other talented musicians around the world.

The trailer for the upcoming concert is now live, and may be watched below:

Sagisu and his team will recreate beloved Genshin Impact soundtracks for the concert, taking fans on a journey as they reminisce their adventures in the world of Teyvat.

It was announced recently that Genshin Impact Version 3.1 will release on September 28, 2022, so the concert is a fitting incentive for fans as the open-world adventure RPG enters its third year.

The patch update includes Cyno and Nilou’s release, the Desert area, new weapons, and anniversary events.

 

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Gaming

PS5 FIFA 23 bundle to be available in October

A package for football enthusiasts

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PS5 FIFA 23

Rejoice, football fans and gamers! A PlayStation 5 EA SPORTS FIFA 23 bundle will be available in the Philippines in October 2022 at PhP 33,890.

The bundle will include:

  • PlayStation 5 console
  • DualSense wireless controller
  • PS5 software EA SPORTS FIFA 23 software disc
  • Pre-installed game, ASTRO’s Playroom
  • Other package inclusions (HDMI and USB cables, power cord, printed materials)

FIFA 23: What’s new

The latest version of the world-famous football video game features HyperMotion2 Technology, providing twice as much real-world motion capture to create a more realistic football animation in every match.

For the first time ever, Women’s Club Football will also be played. The Barclays FA Women’s Super league and Division 1 Arkema both available.

Both the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 have also come to FIFA 23 as post launch updates at no additional cost, which means one can play no less than the 2022 AFF Women’s Champions, the Filipinas.

Following cross-play tests for Online Friendlies and Online Season tests in FIFA 22, cross-play has now been expanded to accommodate more game modes for FIFA 23.

Ted Lasso is coming

AFC Richmond, the fictional English association club football team from the Emmy Award-winning TV show Ted Lasso has also been added to the roster of over 700 teams, bringing Ted Lasso and team stars like Jamie Tartt, Dani Rojas, Sam Obisanya, Roy Kent, and Isaac McAdoo to the game.

They will play at the Nelson Road home stadium, and FIFA 23 has made the squad playable across Career Mode, Kick-Off, Online Friendlies, and Online Seasons.

Lasso may even be a playable team manager in Career Mode. Players may also swap AFC Richmond into the Premier League or any other playable league under the mode.

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