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.)
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?
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
Grand Theft Auto VI gets its first-ever trailer
Coming in 2025
Sometimes, Christmas comes early. Despite scheduling its release for December 5, Rockstar Games has uploaded the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI more than 12 hours earlier than expected.
Available now through its official platforms, the first trailer reveals our first official look at the next major entry in the legendary Grand Theft Auto franchise. As expected, the sixth title will be set in the sunny shores of Vice City, a locale that hasn’t seen a revival in major platforms yet. Whereas the fifth game’s setting was a version of California, Vice City will take on modern-day Florida and all its various hijinks.
As was spoiled through major leaks in the past, Grand Theft Auto VI will feature two main protagonists, Lucia (the franchise’s first female lead) and Jason. The trailer focuses mostly on Lucia who ends up in prison at the start of the trailer. Based on the depictions in the trailer, the game will focus on the duo’s chase for the better life (through illegal ways, of course) in Vice City.
Besides the duo, Vice City will have sunny beaches, swamps, bike gang, mud clubs, hot cars, and crazy animals. It’s a departure from the Miami-Vice-like depiction in the original Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Instead, it will represent the city in a more contemporary fashion. Social media seems to be a prime focus, too; various fictional video platforms are in the spotlight in the trailer.
And now for the meaty part. The trailer ends with a release window (finally): 2025. Grand Theft Auto VI will arrive, at least, on the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S. A PC version is still unconfirmed, but it’s likely arriving on the platform, too.
Cyberpunk 2077 will get a final major update tomorrow
Introducing the subway system and radioport
Earlier this year, CD Projekt Red rolled out one of the biggest turnarounds in recent gaming history. After suffering an ill-fated launch back in 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 received a massive 2.0 update that transformed the title from an undeniable failure to a must-play RPG. This month, the game continues its redemption tour with the upcoming 2.1 update.
Tomorrow, CD Projekt Red is shipping a substantial 2.1 update to introduce several highly requested features, quality-of-life improvements, and bug fixes. One of these changes is the introduction of the NCART metro system, which lets users ride the subway to get around Night City. A notable feature seen in prelaunch trailers, the subway system has been a long time coming. The system features 19 different stations across five subway lines.
Players are also getting a new radioport feature. Starting with the 2.1 update, players can continue to listen to the in-game radio outside of riding vehicles. Currently, the in-game radio is available only when inside a vehicle. Exiting naturally cuts off the music playing.
With the update, players can also replay the game’s racing missions for additional eddies and Autofixer discounts.
Capping off the list of major inclusions, players will soon be able to invite their love interests to their apartments. They can hang out with them after concluding their respective romance missions.
Besides these, the update will include a lot of minor fixes and improvements. Unfortunately, especially if your most requested feature isn’t on this list, the 2.1 update will be the last substantial one for Cyberpunk 2077. The studio’s focus will now shift to the game’s sequel and upcoming games set in The Witcher universe.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.1 will start rolling out on December 5 for all platforms.
The GameSir G8 Galileo is great for PS Remote Play
While we wait for the PlayStation Portal
We happen to be in a region where the PlayStation Portal has yet to be released. Good thing, PS Remote Play is available and GameSir has a controller you can hook up to your smartphone that’s readily compatible. Enter the GameSir G8 Galileo.
You might not see it right away, but the biggest difference with the G8 Galileo compared to other smartphone controllers (even the ones GameSir made themselves) is it’s actually full size.
Most smartphone controllers prioritize portability. Thus, they’re more compact. That means smaller face buttons, smaller thumbsticks, and generally smaller overall profile.
Usable, sure. But not exactly ideal for people with chubby hands like yours truly.
This is also one of the primary reasons why, despite owning a Backbone One, I’ve rarely used it for its intended purpose. And the reason why the PlayStation Portal is appealing to me.
The GameSir G8 Galileo changes all of that because of its size. It’s also not just larger. Its ergonomics are great too. Your hands will sit nicely on the nice, curved handles for a more comfortable, more enjoyable handheld gaming session.
PS Remote Play
Another big area of convenience is you don’t necessarily have to have the GameSir app to make it work. Simply download the PS Remote Play app, register, and fire it up.
To make sure it’s on PS Remote Play compatible mode, just press the Share and Options buttons simultaneously. Those are the tiny buttons on the left and right hand side of the controllers right above the left thumb stick and the face buttons.
Upon pressing simultaneously, make sure the color on the GameSir logo on the lower right part of the controller is white. That’s how you know it’s on PS Remote Play mode.
Once done, just easily plug-in your smartphone with a USB-C port on GameSir’s signature flexible USB-C plug and off you go.
Actual play time
Here’s a quick Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 gameplay using the GameSir G8 Galileo along with the HONOR Magic5 Pro with Remote Play:
— rodneil (@rodneilquiteles) November 30, 2023
This under a minute clip, naturally, isn’t representative of the entire Remote Play experience. Anyone who has tried it before knows that with extended play time, you’ll likely experience a few hiccups here and there. That’s just the nature of the beast.
That said, this whole set-up has been generally great. Other than Spider-Man 2, I’ve managed to play a handful of quick NBA 2K24 games like this. I still racked up a handful of wins despite suffering from occasional latency trouble.
The feel of the controller is fantastic and is easily the most enjoyable out of every other smartphone controller that I’ve tried before. And I’ve tried a few other than the Backbone One. There’s the GameSir X3, GameSir X2 Pro-Xbox, and the Razer Kishi V2.
Compatible games, mapping
Depending on the platform you’re on, the GameSir G8 Galileo will work on multiple other games. If you’re an iPhone 15 Series user, Remote Play, select Apple Arcade games, and even the AAA games set to release for that iPhone will work with this controller.
For Android users, it’s the usual handful of controller supported games that will work with this. For everything else, you’ll have to resort to mapping — a task for those with patience.
You can buy the GameSir G8 Galileo here: https://bit.ly/gsg8galileo
Use G8Creator on the Coupon Code for 10% off.
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