Gaming

Louviers: Almost 20 PlayStation 5 (PS5) expected for Christmas on Je Console

David Chassy and Julie Houssais, at Je Console in Louviers. (© La Dépêche de Louviers – Pierre Choisnet)

Since the beginning of the health crisis, the Je Console video game store, located on rue du Matrey in Louviers (Eure), has been suffering from the effects of the semiconductor shortage. This affects the supply of microprocessors (see chart below).

However, in 2020 the last two consoles of the ninth generation were launched: the PlayStation 5 (PS5 with and without a Blu-Ray player) from the Japanese company Sony and the Xbox Series X and S from the American company Microsoft.

Why this shortage?

The phenomenon dates back to 2020, when the health crisis broke out. The industry is in the midst of a shortage of semiconductors, these electronic chips that companies greatly need to make their microprocessors. These are in all objects with electronics, from cars to smartphones, to video game consoles. Without these microprocessors, production often hangs.
This shortage is largely explained by the restrictive measures imposed by Covid-19 on companies. Added to this is a rebound in the supply of connected devices (including refrigerators) in an industry that operates just in time and produces mainly in Asia. For example, Malaysia is a major producer of semiconductors, while pollution was already increasing in August 2021.
And the problem is not over! Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, spoke about this situation on Sunday, November 14, on the Questions politique program (France info / Inter / Le Monde). “It’s not going to last, but it won’t go away in three months either,” he said. And to add: “I think the peak is far behind, but it will take several more quarters to get back to normal.” Therefore, we should not expect a gradual normalization before the summer of 2022. And it will be done gradually. Last October, Intel chief Pat Gelsinger said that a return to normalcy should not occur before 2023.

75 PS5s sold in 2021

The year of the launch of new machines rhymes with an explosion of demand. In 2020, the demand was there, but the supply did not follow.

“During this year 2021, we only sold 75 PlayStation 5 and 20 Xbox Series X. Although we could have sold ten times more given the amount of reservation requests we had. “

David Chassy Manager of Je Console, in Louviers

And the situation is only shyly improving as Christmas approaches. Despite the many daily calls to check for stocks, the response is often the same: “Please try to call again tomorrow, and the following days, we may have received some.” No, we do not make reservations. “

The shortage affects both Sony’s and Microsoft’s consoles.

David Chassy remains confident and announces:

“My supplier Sony put me at ease. We should get around 20 PS5s by Christmas. And only five Xbox Series Xs. “

From the release date of the consoles (November 10, 2020 for the Xbox series and November 19, 2020 for the PS5), it’s the big blur. “They warned me at the end of the afternoon for the next day. And sometimes I wait for a console and get five, other times it’s the other way around. “

That is why the store refuses to make reservations, even at the insistence of customers. “Otherwise, we would do that all day, we would call the people who have their console,” says Julie Houssais, the salesperson.

To achieve this, therefore, he relies on a dose of luck and perseverance. David Chassy’s advice is simple: “Visit the store regularly or call to find out if there are any. “

And sometimes the luck is there! As in our report, Wednesday morning, December 1, where a couple and their son managed to get hold of an Xbox Series X.

This lucky customer walked away with an Xbox Series X on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

This lucky customer walked away with an Xbox Series X on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. (© La Dépêche de Louviers – Pierre Choisnet)

Reselling online

Another reason prompts David Chassy to reject reservations. “Otherwise, I would sell the consoles to people who are not customers with us, who sometimes come from afar. And since we sell the PS5 and Xbox series at cost price, without any markup [N.D.L.R. : 499 € pour la PS5 avec lecteur Blu-Ray et pour la Xbox Series X]I would not earn money as I would never see the customer again. “

Therefore, the manager wants to limit the trade that takes place on these new consoles relying on scarcity. As they are very difficult to find, unscrupulous individuals or professionals buy them at the normal price and offer them on the Internet at exorbitant prices.

A little tour of the tab

A quick tour of Google’s “shopping” tab announces the color: the price of PS5 consoles skyrockets on the Internet. (© Google screenshot)

Media example: last April a PS5 was sold for € 20,000 on an auction site in Belgium (Vavabid), which is 40 times the recommended retail price! And it is enough to write PS5 in the tab of “purchases” of Google to verify that the console usually sells at prices that exceed 1000 €. David Chassy also knows how to recognize intrigues.

“I have clients who have come from all over to buy me five or six, supposedly for their friends, their family. I have rejected. “

David chassy

Scalpers on the Internet

In the end, gamers who simply reach for their console to play (main role) suffer from it. This is even more true on the Internet due to so-called resellers. These resellers appropriate small stocks of high-demand products to resell them by the much more expensive unit behind. They do this by using bots (short for “robot”, software that performs automated tasks) to make online reservations in microseconds. On the contrary, buyers of lambdas have no chance.

best sales

Despite this tense situation that some Je Console clients refuse to accept (exchanges are sometimes aggressive), the manager is optimistic. “The year has gone well. On PS5, the best-selling video games were Fifa 22, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. On the Nintendo Switch, which is a console that continues to sell very well [N.D.L.R. : pourtant sortie le 3 mars 2017], our best games are Animal Crossing, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Sparkling Diamond Pokémon and Sparkling Pearl Pokémon. “

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