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John Carmack says Sony and Microsoft "should auction their own console stock" to cut out scalpers

Tarin02543

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Oct 14, 2007
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Most modern governments have given their citizens electronic id cards.

Let manufacturers use government portals to tie a purchase to a single individual.
 

The Shepard

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Sony and Microsoft should force retailers to a console per customer and a better system to detect bots.

I don't understand why its not like this already, one console per card payment. I thought it was one per customer already.
 
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cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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Someone has to explain to me how the programs scalpers are using work.

Because in theory you could use a system 1item/1credit card because normal people have just one card. So there is trick to use multiple cards, right?
There are bank services that generate one time use credit cards.
 

Ammogeddon

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The cost of setting up and running this would probably outweigh the lost revenue of potential customer purchases due to scalped stock sitting around.

I totally agree something need to be done but this is just an off the cuff idea from Carmack.

I’d be very interested to know what game and accessory sales along with game activity are. If there is a decent disparity between console sales then you can bet Sony and retailers will be more committed to stamping out scalping.
 

baphomet

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No, Carmack is right. An auction exposes the true market price. A scalper can't win an auction and expect to flip it at higher price higher than what the market is willing to pay.

it's already been done.

and it doesn't bring the price down. it goes up exponentially.

supply is what determines the resell market.
 
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Dick Jones

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Fuck no having no life should not guarantee you of better chances to get a console.
Every so often I get friend invitations on PSN from people with 0 trophies. Those are the people I want gone.

Doing it in a way where people who have trophies over a certain amount are the ones who get the chance to get into the lottery. This is not saying that level 100 has a better chance than level 50 in the draw. It means that those under a reasonable number are possible scalpers and excluded so fuck them. Maybe those over level 5 and active PS+ would enter you into a lottery for a chance to buy the console.
 
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DJ Shalad

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$500 asking price | console cycle 5 years | $100 per year
give out consoles for free and charge a monthly fee instead
(required) PS Plus ($5) + $10 for "console renting" = $15 per month
(required) Gamepass ($15) + $10 for "console renting" = $25 per month
 
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Mar 7, 2017
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No Carmack... you're an insanely intelligent guy but this is not the answer to this problem.

How does this help gamers wanting to buy a console at the RRP?

How can you not see how this would incentivise console manufacturers artificially restricting launch inventory so as to profit from scarcity auctions?

This is the worst idea, I'm sorry to say.
 

Schmick

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$500 asking price | console cycle 5 years | $100 per year
give out consoles for free and charge a monthly fee instead
(required) PS Plus ($5) + $10 for "console renting" = $15 per month
(required) Gamepass ($15) + $10 for "console renting" = $25 per month
Kinda like Xbox All Access? Except people on here hated that idea because firstly they want to own the console and secondly anyone who can't buy the console outright doesn't, in their opinion, deserve a console.
 

Schmick

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It's sucks, it really does. We are experiencing this level of shortage because of the pandemic. Its unprecedented! Sure there's been shortages in the passed but not like this. I'm frustrated it's happening but what I also find annoying is seeing Gaffers throwing theirs toys out the pram pissed off with MS, Sony, AMD and nVidia for not supplying. Theres nothing that can be done!
 
Jan 29, 2019
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Auctions are the most honest price discovery the market could have.

Scalpers or other middle men types wouldn't be irrelevant anymore.
 

KungFucius

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This is fucking stupid. They should scalp in a supply constrained market to cut out scalpers? So they should scalp. They should be the ones selling a 100 or so consoles a day on ebay and be called the scum of the earth and blamed for taking all the supply for a quick profit because that will fix things for everyone.

They could push prices down rather easily. But it would not get down to MSRP. Break even on a PS5 is 630 or so depending on tax and shipping. They could keep a supply at the lowest market price for Buy it now and systematically lower it. Eventually buyers would be aware and stop bidding auctions up to 800+ and grab a buy it now. But it is really a wasted effort because scalping will eventually die anyways. They can't just put stock at retail because the demand is actually high and the market price for an easily obtainable unit is what they are going for on ebay. They could bring that price down but that would take some actually supply so it would make it harder for gamers to get one. If lowest buy it now for a PS5 Disc version is 750 they could release some stock at 700 periodically and see if others lower prices. A buy it now listing tends to take several hours to sell so some might want out. Others might see the lower prices and think that a 10% profit that carries risk is not worth it and stop reselling. It might work. It might also help them understand the scalping market and give them actual data other than unverified completed ebay listings.
 

Captain Toad

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Absolute horrible idea. Incredibly slippery slope. Who would stop them from artificially limiting stock if they determine their profits are much better at higher demand and lower supply?
 

Miles708

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No, Carmack is right. An auction exposes the true market price. A scalper can't win an auction and expect to flip it at higher price higher than what the market is willing to pay.
That's not how eBay works.
On eBay everyone tries to make the price higher, and of you do it for enough time, that becomes the de-facto new base price.

The only way eBay works is upwards, at least for videogames.
 

FranXico

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Does sony or M really give a fuck if their console get sold to scalpers or gamers?!
It needs to eventually reach actual gamers who buy games, otherwise they won't make a profit.

Well, I assume this to be the case for Sony anyway.
 
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GymWolf

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It needs to eventually reach actual gamers who buy games, otherwise they won't make a profit.

Well, I assume this to be the case for Sony anyway.
they all reach gamers, they just pay more.

and if no one pay that price, scalpers just need to lower their prices very close to 500 dollars and get rid of the last consoles they can't sell at high prices.

there is no chance for a scalper to get fucked, like we said in italy, they hold the fork from the handle. (they have all to win and nothing to lose and no one can do something about it)

So what really change for sony and M except bad press? (if bad press even exist considering how thirsty people are for a console right now thanks to the shortage)

I know, it's a very bad situation for actual gamers.
 
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chonga

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In what world does this differ from the current situation or help consumers?

All it does is move money from scalpers into the hands of manufacturers. It doesn't increase supply and it won't decrease the price.

Many scalpers already list on auction sites. So we already have an auction where people bid hundreds over RRP.
And any that list on other marketplaces are still governed by a market price that people are wiling to pay.

Just because the listing is direct from the manufacturer won't mean that people suddenly say 'no, I am not willing to pay over RRP', the rich folk with no patience will still bid stupid amounts.
 

Yselacrey00

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it's far too pragmatic, it would never work.

right now everyone hates the scalpers and sony/microsoft get some of the heat but a far less amount.
if they auctioned the console all the hate would suddenly be laid on sony and microsoft.

it would kill the scalper though, because the auctioned consoles would always increase to match whatever the scalpers would sell at. But the scalpers would be priced out because they also need to pay seller fees + acquisition costs.
It's basically turning Sony into the scalper. In what way does this benefits the consumer?
 

Yselacrey00

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they all reach gamers, they just pay more.

and if no one pay that price, scalpers just need to lower their prices very close to 500 dollars and get rid of the last consoles they can't sell at high prices.

there is no chance for a scalper to get fucked, like we said in italy, they hold the fork from the handle. (they have all to win and nothing to lose and no one can do something about it)

So what really change for sony and M except bad press? (if bad press even exist considering how thirsty people are for a console right now thanks to the shortage)

I know, it's a very bad situation for actual gamers.
There is, you just said it. If they sell at cost then they lost all the time and effort invested and since time is money then they would be loosing money.
 

Three

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If they wanted to do that they would just increase the RRP until demand met supply. I'm sure they can crunch those numbers.
 

GymWolf

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There is, you just said it. If they sell at cost then they lost all the time and effort invested and since time is money then they would be loosing money.
they still sell a fuckton of console at high prices because as you know, there is people who is ready to pay any price, so yeah sometimes they have to sell console close to the public prices, but i'm pretty sure they are already making money from all the previous console.

Also, it's not like they have to lose years or month or even weeks of their life to use bots that buy console for them, i don't know how does it actually work but is hardly a money\time consuming "job".

Again, not an expert so you may be right, i don't have a dog in this race, i don't care about being wrong if this means that those fucker can be stopped.
 
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Rentahamster

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Absolute horrible idea. Incredibly slippery slope. Who would stop them from artificially limiting stock if they determine their profits are much better at higher demand and lower supply?
A rival company that doesn't do that and subsequently makes more profit and gains more marketshare which is more important for long term viability since they use the razor/razorblade business model.
 

billyxci

13 year old console warrior. Put me on ignore.
Aug 3, 2014
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or ykno...people should just refuse to buy from scalpers?

buy from a trusted retailer or wait. i mean it's not like there are many must have games right now to play on either console. demons souls is about the only one worth buying and even that is a 11 year old game.

if kids today could just be patient then this whole situation wouldn't be happening. but oh no gotta have a ps5/xsx right now
 
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Enjay

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or ykno...people should just refuse to buy from scalpers?

buy from a trusted retailer or wait. i mean it's not like there are many must have games right now to play on either console. demons souls is about the only one worth buying and even that is a 11 year old game.

if kids today could just be patient then this whole situation wouldn't be happening. but oh no gotta have a ps5/xsx right now
Did you come up with that all on your own?
 

Neff

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A lottery system would have done just fine.

or ykno...people should just refuse to buy from scalpers?
There's a lot of people out there who can afford to drop a grand on a sexy new toy like PS5 as if it's nothing.

Does sony or M really give a fuck if their console get sold to scalpers or gamers?!
They haven't ever officially spoken about it to my knowledge, but it can't be ideal for them to have consoles being hoarded without games or subscriptions being bought for them, which is where the fat profit is, since PS5 is actually sold at a loss. There's also the fact that if a punter pays over the odds for a console, they'll theoretically have less money to spend on the aforementioned games and subs. Since representatives of both companies have met with retailers regarding the scalping issue it suggests to me that they do in fact give a fuck.
 
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MrS

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Bad idea, Mr Carmack.

stop forcing online sales

Also a bad idea. Global Pandemic etc. Millions have successfully bought PS5s and Series X/S online. Online sales isn't the problem, people buying from scalpers and thus encouraging them to continue their practises is the problem.
 

gunslikewhoa

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Bad idea, Mr Carmack.



Also a bad idea. Global Pandemic etc. Millions have successfully bought PS5s and Series X/S online. Online sales isn't the problem, people buying from scalpers and thus encouraging them to continue their practises is the problem.
Present a better idea for stopping scalpers and putting consoles in the hands of gamers at retail price.

The pandemic is a bullshit excuse for what Sony is doing. I can walk into a store and purchase anything on the planet except for a PS5 right now. It's fucking dumb. I mention curbside pickup because I don't mean put a stop to orders being placed online. I mean allow people to order a single console from a local shop and pick it up.
 
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jroc74

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They could set up an ebay account and use reliable tracked delivery.

I'm not joking all this makes sense.

They can sell them cheaper or make more profit.
Some companies do this. Or used to, I havent used eBay in years.

IIRC, they used to only use Buy Now tho. I dont remember any doing auctions.
 
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gunslikewhoa

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Patience. Dearth of games on both consoles makes them extremely non-essential imho (PS5 owner here).
Patience isn't happening, though, is it? There's no reason for Sony not to provide the simple solution.

I own a PS5 as well. I bought Demon's Souls on launch day. The only reason I've turned it on in at least six weeks is to grab the PS Plus games. The fact that there is no reason to buy one right now is not stopping people from paying scalpers, though.
 

MrS

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Patience isn't happening, though, is it? There's no reason for Sony not to provide the simple solution.

I own a PS5 as well. I bought Demon's Souls on launch day. The only reason I've turned it on in at least six weeks is to grab the PS Plus games. The fact that there is no reason to buy one right now is not stopping people from paying scalpers, though.
Sony doesn't care who buys the consoles as long as they're getting bought, so they're not going to provide any solution to a problem they don't feel exists. Sucks for those who want a PS5 but it is what it is. Keep trying and you will get one eventually.
 
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gunslikewhoa

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Sony doesn't care who buys the consoles as long as they're getting bought, so they're not going to provide any solution to a problem they don't feel exists. Sucks for those who want a PS5 but it is what it is. Keep trying and you will get one eventually.

I wonder if Sony has any interest in selling games, subscriptions, accessories, etc.?
 

BusierDonkey

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Every "fix" for this situation has already been thought of by scalpers and will be defeated/bypassed almost immediately.

There's just too much money in scalping because there are just too many people willing to pay the added cost.

The only thing that would stop scalpers is finding a way to stop pricing from being able to be higher than a given margin which is impossible as cash, bartering and virtual currency exists.
 
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BlitzerRadic

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it's already been done.

and it doesn't bring the price down. it goes up exponentially.

supply is what determines the resell market.

Wrong, it's demand. But lets say supply is what determines price. Why would the price go up if Sony decided to auction PS5s directly? The supply hasn't changed. The only thing that's changed is who is the seller.

Furthermore lets say that a scalper wins an auction and pays Sony $1000 for a PS5 with the intent to re-sell. Why would anyone pay more than that? If there was a market for PS5 for more than $1000, why wouldn't someone just outbid the scalper? Or another way to look at it is that if a scalper paid $1000 to win a PS5 auction, that means no one else was willing to pay more than $1000.
 

Dick Jones

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What the hell.
I dont see what your issue is. Scalpers are unlikely to reach either requirement and if they do scam a way to get 15 accounts tied to easy platinums of trash like "My Name is Mayo" then they have to pay for ps plus for each account they wish to enter. Scalpers won't take that risk. Even Sony recently reported that over 85% of PS5 owners have ps plus.

In times with huge constraints of supply then it's better that gamers have priority than scalpers who cheat the system. When supply issues ease then it should be stores.
 

cireza

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How difficult is it for people to simply not buy the console from scalpers ? The solution is here actually. Much simpler.

Can't get the console ? Wait (and play some MegaDrive), others will be manufactured. Eventually, there will be enough for everyone. Scalpers are not going to buy 50 millions consoles.
 
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cormack12

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How difficult is it for people to simply not buy the console from scalpers ? The solution is here actually. Much simpler.

Can't get the console ? Wait (and play some MegaDrive), others will be manufactured. Eventually, there will be enough for everyone. Scalpers are not going to buy 50 millions consoles.

The problem is there are people with enough disposable income where paying a £500 premium is simply more appealing or cost effective than signing up to early alerts, monitoring websites etc for preorders.

Again though, this creates the market. Imagine if Sony/MS said the first shipment will be day one editions at £850 each. The market can sustain it as evidenced by those scalping. That is my fear.

I think preorders should only be able to be made via the current console itself for 90% of the stock, make sure most consoles get into players hands.
 

jroc74

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The problem is there are people with enough disposable income where paying a £500 premium is simply more appealing or cost effective than signing up to early alerts, monitoring websites etc for preorders.

Again though, this creates the market. Imagine if Sony/MS said the first shipment will be day one editions at £850 each. The market can sustain it as evidenced by those scalping. That is my fear.

I think preorders should only be able to be made via the current console itself for 90% of the stock, make sure most consoles get into players hands.
Sony is close to doing this. IIRC, you need a PS account for their Direct. While the countdown is going on you cant access the site for anything else but the queue. If you need to sign in to change anything (payment info, etc.) you have to wait until you get in or when its over.
 

Skifi28

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How difficult is it for people to simply not buy the console from scalpers ? The solution is here actually. Much simpler.

Can't get the console ? Wait (and play some MegaDrive), others will be manufactured. Eventually, there will be enough for everyone. Scalpers are not going to buy 50 millions consoles.

Humanity can't come together for something like saving the environment, it won't happen for a few scalped consoles. People want to play their games, they don't care about anything else.
 
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Blood Borne

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Scalpers are not an issue. I’d argue the percentage of consoles bought by scalpers is minuscule.

The main issue is Sony, they need to get their shit together. They’re using scalpers as a scapegoat, the attacks should be directed at Sony, their stock is abysmal.