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Last year, when the PS5 released, I didn't bother trying to pre-order one or buy one after release. I just wasn't very interested in the machine that first year, as there weren't that many games for it. Sure, I was curious to see what the Demon's Souls remake wold be like, considering that is one of my favorite games ever. And I would gladly have played the Miles Morales Spider-Man game. But neither of these (nor the two combined) were enough to sell me on a $500 console. I love Demon's Souls, and was sad when the servers were finally shut down, but not enough to shell out $600 to be able to keep playing it.

I'm sorry Sony, but you really needed more than just a remake of a 10-year old game from 2 console generations ago, and a single sequel to a popular game from a few years ago, to sell me on the new machine. Maybe if Silent Hills hadn't been cancelled, and ended up being a PS5-exclusive launch title, or if Death Stranding or Ghost of Tsushima had been PS5-exclusive launch titles, then I would have been more eager to procure a console.

Everything else that I was interested in was a multi-platform release. I bought Cyberpunk 2077 on Steam (then never played it because the launch condition was so atrocious), and ended up playing Control (for free) via PlayStation Plus. So what the heck did I actually need a PS5 for?

The only 2 games on PS5 worth playing are not worth buying a new console.

I also didn't feel like going through the trouble of trying to claim the limited pre-order supply of PS5s. I thought for sure that in 6 months or so, PS5s would be sitting on the shelves of just about every Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, and Gamestop, just collecting dust. After all, people were losing their jobs and health insurance left and right due to business closures and city lockdowns being imposed due to a global health pandemic. Surely people wouldn't have enough disposable income to justify new $500 consoles, right?

Well, apparently, I completely mis-judged the situation. Losing their jobs and being unable to even look for new jobs (due to the aforementioned business closures and lockdowns) meant that people spent what little disposable money they did have (as well as the eventual government stimulus checks) on home entertainment products like video games. The video game business (along with online shopping, streaming television services, home delivery services, and video conferencing services) was one of the few industries that boomed during the pandemic, and much to my surprise, the PS5 and XBox Series X | S became the fastest-selling video game consoles in history, despite the supply shortages.

I will honestly say that I did not see that coming. Though I do have to wonder if those sales figures would be so inflated if not for scalpers buying up all the stock with automated bots.

Now it's December of 2021 (holiday season), the PS5 has been available for well over a year, and I'm starting to want one, but can't find one. What's changed? Why do I want a console now, when I didn't want one last year?

Now the games are coming

Put simply: there's games coming out for the console that I want to play now. In addition to jonesing to play Demon's Souls again, and still wanting to check out Miles Morales, I've heard very good things about Returnal. But the big games are the ones coming out early next year. The biggest of which being FromSoftware's Elden Ring.

True, Elden Ring isn't a PS5-exclusive. I could play it on PC. But I'd rather play it on a console so that I can easily stream to Twitch for footage archival. Otherwise, I'd be stuck trying to record every minute of gameplay to my hard drive, and I'm sorry, but I only have so much space on my NAS. I prefer to have footage of a big game like that stored on the cloud instead, and the PlayStation's Twitch and YouTube integrations make that easy. I'm assuming that the PS5 will have similar Twitch and YouTube integration.

I could also buy Elden Ring for PS4. In fact, this is probably what I'll end up doing if I haven't found a PS5 by then. I've read that the PS4 version is supposed to be able to be upgrade-able for the PS5 at no extra charge. So I may end up just buying the PS4 version and upgrading to the PS5 whenever I finally get my hands on the new console.

EA is [finally] returning to
college football games!

The other big release (for me) that might be coming up in the first half of 2022 is 2k Sports' still-unannounced "non-simulation" football game, which is rumored to be planned for a spring 2021 release. Personally, I would think that a spring release would have been announced by now, so I'm betting that the game won't actually be released till later in the summer or early fall (when football season starts). And that's assuming that it's even ready for release in 2022 to begin with, and not delayed until 2023. In any case, 2k's non-sim NFL game might have a PS4 (or Steam) version, or it might not.

Further off is the eventual release of EA Sports' College Football, which is due out in summer of 2023. That game has been announced as being "next-gen" only, which means that if I want to play it, I will need a PS5 by summer of 2023.

And heck, maybe I'll even check out Gran Turismo 7 for ol' time's sake. The Dual Sense controller has the potential to really change how a racing game feels to play, which might be just enough to re-invigorate my interest in the genre. Maybe.

And I'm sure there will be a sequel to Bloodborne eventually, which I'll check out, even if it ends up being outsourced to a developer other than FromSoftware.

Like many, I waited in Wal-Mart online queues...

Black Friday Rat Race

The lack of any huge PS5 exclusives still doesn't have me foaming at the mouth to get a PS5 right this second, even though I have been looking. I tried buying one during some of the retailer restocks on and around Black Friday, but had no luck. The Wal-Mart restocks, in particular, were a disaster of technical problems and poor communication to users. Anyway, I can still be patient. I could easily get a PS5 off of eBay from some scalper if I was willing to pay $1,200 for one. But I'm not that desperate, and I'll wait to pay regular MSRP.

Fuck the scalpers with their stupid bots! I hope they are all forced out of business and put in jail by legislation intended to criminalize bot-scalping, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I don't see how such a law would be enforceable, and it would probably crumble against court challenges, since courts have repeatedly upheld individuals' rights of resale. And anyway, by the time any such law would go into effect, it would be far too late to do anything about the PS5 scarcity. Maybe it'll be on the books in time for a PS7 launch though?

What I really don't understand though, is why Sony and retailers have to make this so damned hard to begin with. Why are they doing all these frustrating "restock events"? I honestly do not understand why Sony and retailers can't just put people's names on a waiting list, just like they've done in the past with pre-orders, back-orders, and lay-away products? Allow one console per account, email address, mailing address, or credit card number, and just deliver consoles to the next people in the waiting list as they become available. Why do these online drops that just favor automated bots and often leave real people out in the cold?

... and like many, I was stone-walled by technical problems,
and stock being depleted by online scalpers within seconds of the sale going up.

Well, I know why. It's because it's corporate America, and corporations don't care about the actual customers. They only care that they get their money. The supply shortage created an initial scarcity, which encouraged scalping, which contributes towards artificial scarcity, which drives up perceived value and demand, and ultimately sells more retail units. Eventually the market becomes saturated enough that demand plummets, but in the meantime, the corporations and scalpers run away with a lot of money.

Consoles don't make money for Sony
while sitting on a scalper's shelf.

That being said, scalping isn't necessarily in Sony's interest. Yes, they sell lots of consoles to scalpers, but consoles tend to be loss-leaders. The console manufacturers usually don't make much (if any) money from selling the consoles themselves. They make most of the money from selling games and services (such as PlayStation Plus or XBox GamePass). Units being sold out might look good for Sony and Microsoft at a first glance, but if those consoles are sitting on scalpers' shelves (or in crypto-currency farms), instead of in the living rooms of customers, then those customers aren't buying PSPlus or XBox Game Pass or any of the games that actually make the money for Sony and Microsoft.

Anyway, Sony Direct does has some kind of waiting list, but it's kind of its own little confusing mystery. I signed up for it using my PSN account multiple times, but haven't received any emails confirming that I'm on the waiting list, nor am I aware of any way that I can check my status or position on such a list. Am I not "involved enough" with PlayStation to even be eligible for a console? Am I not enough of an "influencer" to warrant being placed on the list? So I have no idea if I'm on the waiting list, or when (if ever) I might expect to have an opportunity to purchase a console direct from Sony -- because, you know, they have to make this shit as difficult for consumers as it can possibly be.

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Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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