US Versus Bots: A New Bill To Curb Mass Console Purchases

The “Stop the Grinch Bots” bill would mainly affect the console and graphics business and gyms.



It’s likely that if you’ve tried to buy a next-gen console lately, you’ve found yourself in a war where few gamers are given a chance to win. After all, the current general shortage of parts is affecting the production of technology products in particular, and the problem is said to last until 2023. So-called shopping robots further exacerbate this: computer programs that can buy dozens of consoles and other products in a single moment.

Their use makes it very difficult to buy thousands of different products, from PS5s and Xbox Series machines to limited edition trainers. But now, as Kotaku has pointed out, a US political group wants to end this dilemma with a new law whose working title is “Stop the Grinch Bots” – a reference, of course, to the well-known green fairy (anti-)hero who wants to steal Christmas. As PC Mag found out, this idea was conceived a few years ago, but it seems to have been revived just now, thanks to the pandemic and the upcoming holidays.

The bill aims to discourage the use of sticks in the mass online purchase of all sorts of products, especially those that can be resold later at an inflated price.

It is not yet possible to predict how the new initiative will develop, but several US consumer groups, such as the Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumers League, support the bill.

There is also a similar project to limit this practice in the area of concert tickets. However, this was easier to solve because people have to go to the event physically. However, as Kotaku reminds us, a law against bots would also require the cooperation of retailers, who often don’t care about the online shoppers they serve.

The future of the law is still uncertain, but it’s already clear that the community hates the “buy it and sell it to you at an inflated price” tactics of profiteers. In response, Japan has started marking PS5 boxes to prevent this activity, and the Japanese government has stepped in and arrested a console reseller. However, video game companies are looking for other solutions to this dilemma, leading Sony and Xbox to offer to buy their consoles under certain conditions.

Source: Kotaku, PC Mag

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