PS5 and Xbox Series X stock update: Walmart cracks down on bots and scalpers

It hasn’t been easy finding PS5 and Xbox Series X stock online, as demand continues to outstrip supply. When stock does eventually appear, however, consumers tend to have a mere minutes to secure their order before stock disappears, which is partly down to bots stealing consoles before people can even checkout. 

Bots and scalpers have presented a far greater problem in 2020, with Covid-19 meaning more people are shopping online than ever before, while many brick and mortar stores remain closed. It's ultimately helped line the pockets of scalpers, who go on to resell any units they claim for extortionately high prices.

Thankfully, though, this may soon become less of an issue. Walmart has stated it's clamping down on bots to help ensure more consumers can get the console they’re after this holiday season.

In a statement on its corporate website, Walmart chief information security officer Jerry Geisler said the retailer is doing everything it can to stop “Grinch bots” from snapping up would-be presents. And it appears Walmart’s efforts are paying off.

“The steps we’ve taken are working as intended,” Geisler said. “One bot preventative action we implemented just hours before the PlayStation 5 event on Nov. 25 blocked more than 20 million bot attempts within the first 30 minutes alone (which is a fraction of what our systems deal with continually).”

Geisler went on to say: “As an additional step, we also audit and quickly cancel any orders confirmed to be purchased by bots that may have slipped through. As a result, the vast majority of our next-gen consoles have been purchased by legitimate customers, which is exactly what we want.”

If you’re still searching where to buy PS5 or where to buy Xbox Series X, Geisler said that Walmart has “more next-gen consoles coming online soon” and that the retailer is “continuing to work hard to get them into the hands of as many customers as possible.”

Bot blocker

Geisler also made a plea to lawmakers and other members of the retail industry to do more to battle bots and scalpers moving forward.

“We hope others across the retail industry will join us by asking lawmakers to do more to prevent these unwanted bots on retail sites, so customers have equal access to the products they want."

We'll be keeping you informed of any PS5 and Xbox Series X stock updates from all the major retailers across the US to help you secure a PS5, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, so stay tuned to TechRadar so you don't miss out. 

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