In Japan, “guerrillas” on the sales front of game consoles

Published: 22.07.2022 – 12:18

In the country of Sony and Nintendo, there is a shortage of game consoles, a shortage of components punishes their production. In an attempt to get their hands on the console, hundreds of fans organize, spend the night in front of electronics stores, and few can get them. A phenomenon known in Japan as the “guerrilla” of console sales.

With our correspondent in Tokyo Frederic Charles

Guerrilla warfare is a form of warfare characterized by pursuing actions, ambushes, or raids. On the video game front in Japan, guerrilla warfare is all about espionage. This is necessary in order to identify stores that will soon be filled with consoles. To do this, buyers have created an information agency. His agents scattered around the country are interested in the production of consoles and the date of their delivery to stores. An artificial intelligence researcher processes data on a computer, evaluates the best chances of finding a console, posts the names of cities and stores on an intelligence agency Internet forum that can receive consoles within 48 hours.

American and European markets preferred by manufacturers

Because without organizing groups of buyers into intelligence agents sharing their information online, the chances of getting a game console in Japan are minimal. If you want to buy, for example, a Sony PlayStation 5 delivered to your home, you will shop for months, and every time you buy one, you will be told that the stock has run out. And in the end you will give up.

Semiconductor shortages and serial blockages in China are disrupting console production. But apart from these problems, Japan is not considered a priority market for its own producers. The country is aging, the population is shrinking. Sony’s priority markets for the PlayStation 5 are North America and Europe. Some analysts estimate that only 5% to 8% of those 20 million consoles sold worldwide last year were made in Japan.

Internet speculation

Game consoles in Japan, due to demand far exceeding supply, have been the subject of speculation. Many consoles bought at “guerrilla sales” are immediately resold at a high price on the Internet. A PlayStation bought for 55,000 yen (390 euros) can easily be sold online for twice the price. A significant increase in their production is not expected before the second half of 2023.


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