Amazon tells TechCrunch the invite system ensures that buyers are able to get their hands on items “without having to worry about bad actors buying and reselling at a much higher price.” The program is currently live in the United States, but there is no official confirmation regarding an expansion into other markets. However, the console shortage problem is not limited to the U. S. We’re aware of consumers who bought the PlayStation 5 for as much as $900 from scalpers who had managed to hoard the limited supply of Sony’s console, nearly double the official asking price of $499 for the disc version.
The company will vet all invitation requests by looking at the account’s previous purchase history to filter out bots and spammy profiles, making sure that invites are sent out to genuine customers only. For now, the invite system covers only the PlayStation 5, but in the coming days, it will go live for the Xbox Series X as well. The latest tactic brings back memories of OnePlus’ early days when the company followed a similar (read: infuriating) invite system to sell its coveted “flagship killer” phones.
The situation is not too different for graphics cards, either. In February, Best Buy pushed graphics cards behind the paywall of its Totaltech subscription. For gaming enthusiasts hoping to get their hands on one of NVIDIA’s RTX 3000-series GPUs, Best Buy asked them to pay a sum of $199 (annual plan) to buy the graphics cards.