With increasing pressure to combat scalpers, electronics retailers have established a new way for customers to get their hands on the latest gaming consoles.
Try as they might to keep up with the demand, the children building gaming hardware have an enemy to their valiant effort: retail scalpers. Bots scour the internet, securing any new inventory before real customers even load the store page, leaving the frustrating options of waiting even longer or paying exorbitant prices on eBay. Parents anxious to gift their child the console they've been asking for on their birthday are faced with the humiliation of wrapping up a shrug and an empty box. The child's friends laugh at them over Zoom and they go to bed that night cold, staring at the glow-in-the-dark plastic stars on their shitty popcorn ceiling as their parents scream at each other in the other room, desperate for divorce but both unwilling to move out during a pandemic.
For this specific situation, retail giants like Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Walmart are collaborating on a new system for desperate consumers to obtain the latest consoles that still don't have enough new games to play. Those seeking an Xbox Series X/S or Playstation 5 will pay a $500 entrance fee for trial by combat. Contestants will have the options of one-on-one or battle royale with a series of melee weapons available for either bout. The winner of one-on-one combat will get the console of their choice, while those who conquer battle royale will get both, the entrance fees of the fallen contestants more than covering the cost and pay the judges' salaries.
More details and rules will likely emerge in the coming weeks. These combat trials will only be available in certain states, depending on local laws, so be sure to write your legislatures if you're worried about missing out. And, of course, make sure your wear your mask while fighting to the death to prevent the spread of COVID-19.