Everyone by now should know that Sony sold their very limited edition Anniversary Original Gray Playstation 4 online last week through their online Sony Store in the United States, and needless to say it was incredibly hard for fans to get their hands on it. That being said a large percentage of fans who were able to purchase one, then turned around and sold it on eBay for a heavy profit.
It’s no surprise that Sony is not happy about this, but there really isn’t any way to prevent this from happening when the demand is so high and the supply is very low. The only thing Sony could had done was to make the supply larger, but there’s a part of me that thinks that Sony had no intentions of doing this. The chosen supply was in honor of the original launch date of december 12th, 1994, and of course Sony wanted this console to be hard to get. By choosing an inventory level as small as they did I’m sure they knew how crazy the after markets would react and in hence resulted in free advertising for Sony. Every company wants free advertising, and when you start to think about it this was a genius plan.
I mean come on, they had to expect this to happen when there are millions of fans worldwide, and only 12,300 units available. Maybe a better move for their fans would had been to limit the console to 12,300 units in each region, but I truly think that they wanted the after markets to act this way, and I don’t blame them. If they would had limited the console to just 12,300 units per region the console still would had sold out fast, and fans would have had a better chance to own one at the fair retail price. Furthermore, with this kind of rarity many diehard fans will pay up, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that this has happened. Lets just think about a simple psychological principle called scarcity. If people believe that an item is rare they tend to want it more, and as a direct result will pay more for it, and at the same time if the item was plentiful they wouldn’t pay nearly as much for it. In response to the scalping Sony then made a foolish move and sold 94 of these consoles for just 19.94 pounds in a pop-shop. Now these consoles were sold for charity and seems like a obvious publicity stunt, but once again some of these consoles were sold on eBay for a very heavy profit. Sony should had just sold them for the full sticker price, and at least that way the charity would had received more money with less temptation for the scalpers.
I understand why fans who were not lucky enough to score one of these console for the set retail price would be pissed, but sometimes you can’t blame them the scalpers. Just think about it for a few seconds! If you only had to pay about 20 pounds for one of these special edition consoles, wouldn’t you at least consider selling it too for all that profit. I myself managed to score one from the online US sales, but I just can’t part with it considering that Playstation was my first console, and all the nostalgic value it has too me. I just hope that most of these even luckier fans who only had to pay 19.94 pounds kept the console for themselves instead of making a semi unethical and controversial decision to sell it on eBay.