PS5 restock disaster — scalper scoops up 2,000 consoles and brags about it

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The PS5 remains in stupidly high demand, but it's not just other gamers you've got to compete with for a new console, as scalpers continue to be a thorn in the side of shoppers looking for where to buy the PS5

New stock arrived at U.K. retailer Game on January 19, only for it to sell out in less than 10 minutes. Naturally, the huge PS5 demand had a part to play, but this rapid snapping-up of stock was also due to bots. 

Scalper bots have proved a nuisance for wannabe PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S shoppers since the new generation launched in November. These automated systems are far faster than any person, so they can scoop up large numbers of consoles before the average customer can even click buy.

One particular bot aimed at U.K./EU stores named Carnage Bot claimed great success on Twitter, with the software apparently responsible for over 2,000 successful purchases from Game's latest restock.

PS5 Carnage Bot scalper

(Image credit: Video Games Chronicle)

However, the Carnage account is currently locked down, with its tweets set to protected mode. This is likely due to the less-than=friendly reactions of Twitter users who were eager to get their hands on the new Sony console, some of whom no doubt expressed this frustration to Carnage directly.

After Video Games Chronicle contacted Game, a company spokesperson claimed the retailer was continuing to make sure there was only one PS5 sold per customer. 

“All pre-orders are subject to automatic checks and order updates such as cancellations following these checks take place after a customer will have received a valid order confirmation email," the spokesperson said. "At the present time these orders are still pre-orders and as such no payments have yet been taken from customers.  Payments will commence once our order checks have been completed.”

With a bit of luck, these checks will stymie the scalpers' efforts and let more consoles end up in the hands of people who just want to play games, not rip off others. However, if you're still struggling to find a PS5 to buy, our regularly updated guide to where to buy the PS5 in the U.K. might help you find one.

PS5 restock tracker: Check stock right now

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.