Parents and gamers frustrated as PS5 and Xbox stock sells out

Consumers in UAE say popular games consoles are being resold for three times the price

Gamers and parents have been left frustrated after profiteers snapped up most of the UAE’s PS5 and Xbox Series X stock, only to resell them for up to three times the recommended price.

There has been a global shortage of the devices, with stocks sold out also across the UAE.

People have now criticised opportunistic sellers for charging Dh6,000 for consoles that retail at Dh2,000.

The predicament has left UAE residents without any options ahead of the festive season.

I think it is really despicable that some people are buying them to sell on at huge profits

“I think it is really despicable that some people are buying them to sell on at huge profits,” said Dubai resident Justin Ashton, 47.

“Shame on them and shame on the ones buying from them too. Real gamers can’t get hold of them because of these people.

“My teen son really wants a PS5 for Christmas but it is impossible to find one at a sensible price. He’s got a PS4 and desperately wants the updated version.”

Mr Ashton, a sales director from the UK, said he had tried numerous stores across the emirate in an attempt to get the coveted PS5.

“I registered on all the presale options, with Jumbo, Geekay Games, Virgin, even Du. I called into local branches almost daily and even searched in the UK for one. But all to no avail,” he said.

He said the experience has left him feeling deflated.

“We’ve now given up and bought him a new iPhone instead,” he said.

“Perhaps in the new year, we’ll get hold of one. I feel like I have failed at parenting on this occasion, especially if some of his mates manage to get one.”

epa08814964 Visitors look at the new Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) console installed inside a plastic case at a discount chain store in Tokyo, Japan, 12 November 2020. Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. launched its new home video game console PlayStation 5 on 12 November 2020 in Japan, USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Sony Interactive Entertainment added it will launch PS5 in Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Asia and South Africa on 19 November. As the consoles are mostly sold out on launch day, several stores display panels informing customers that the date of the next PS5 shipping has not yet been confirmed.  EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

There has been a global shortage of the fifth generation of the Sony Playstation consoles since their launch date in late November.

Sony Interactive Entertainment chief executive Jim Ryan said in November said in November that "everything is sold out, absolutely everything is sold out".

Demand is also high for the new Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s latest model, with the company's chief financial officer Tim Stuart telling an online conference last month that it could be up to six months before they were able to provide enough consoles to meet demand.

The National checked with a number of retailers in the UAE but most said they didn't know how many units are on the way.

A staff member at Geekay Games’ Dubai Mall branch said it would be at least another two weeks before they had any more PS5s in stock.

Virgin Megastore in Dubai’s Mercato Mall said they hoped to have some more consoles in stock before Christmas but it would be at least another two weeks before they would have any available Xboxes.

The Dubai Mall branch of Jumbo Electronics said they did not know when they would have any new PS5s or Xboxes available.

“The people who are selling the consoles at these ridiculous high prices are completely taking advantage of the situation,” said South African Chandre Sticht, 30, who had been hoping to buy a PS5 for her husband. “It makes my blood boil to see people selling them at excessive prices online.”

Ms Sticht, 30, who lives in Dubai, said she had contacted people who were selling PS5s on the Dubizzle website, only to be told they were looking for Dh6,000 in some cases.

“When I asked them why they were charging so much, they told me they would sell it to whoever would pay the most,” she said.

“This is something my husband and I had been really looking forward to buying but it’s not right we should be held to ransom because of it.”

She was also critical of the way stores in Dubai had handled the sale of the PS5s, with websites constantly crashing when she tried to order.

“When I phoned the store I was told they were sorry but it was a technical thing and there was nothing they could do.”

Another lifelong gamer living in Dubai said he has been left frustrated by his attempts to be among the first to own a PS5.

“I don’t know when I am going to get it,” said Indian banker Safi Zahid, 33.

“I have tried so many different stores and websites and it’s all been to no avail.

“I managed to get on a waiting list for Geekay Games but I am number 783 in the queue. I am not confident.”

Microsoft declined to comment, while Sony did not respond to queries.