Speculators are the cancer that is seriously affecting the video game market. This is how they fight them in Japan.

We have seen it countless times. A commercial chain announces the sale of a few dozen of PS5, Xbox Series X consoles or gaming graphics cards, and they sell out in 5 minutes.

Almost below, magically start to appear those same consoles and cards at Wallapop, eBay, and the like … at double the price.

The semiconductor and supply crisis has reduced the stock and has done that this Christmas it is almost impossible to catch a console or a gaming graphics card at your price. You have to pay double, and even triple to speculators, to get them.

Speculators use bots and other tracking techniques to grab the few consoles that go on sale, and put them up for sale at double the price on alternative trading platforms.

In Japan most stores use a lottery system to assign the PS5 consoles that they put on sale. They announce the arrival of a lot and the applicants go to the store for a number. The draw is carried out live.

But there have already been cases where these sales have ended in altercations, attacks on employees, and calls to the police. Later it has been verified that most of the buyers were speculators.

To fight this scourge, the chain of stores Nojima denki has implemented a curious system: when they sell a pS5 console, they write the buyer’s name on the box, and they keep the inner box of the remote. This is what they warn on their posters:

Now the chain GEO has joined this initiative, and has started cross out the inside of the box with a large cross.

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The objective with this marking of the boxes is that speculators have a harder time selling the console, because it’s not brand new anymore. At least they will not be able to sell it at double or triple the price as before.

This measure has raised protests from legitimate collectors They want the console for themselves, but see how the product loses collector value if it is written or crossed out, or the control box is missing.

New version of Nintendo’s flagship console, now with a 7 “OLED-type screen, 64 GB of storage and in a new white color.

There is no simple solution to fight against speculation. Just be patient and not play their game, avoiding paying more than the RRP for a console or graphics card, while we wait for the supply crisis to pass, and there will be stock in stores again.

Unfortunately, these are going to be a difficult Christmas for Santa Claus and the Magi, without consoles and without graphics cards to give away …