Currently being tested in the US.
Ever since the new generation of consoles released at the end of last year, both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles have suffered from stock shortages – and as a result of that, increased levels of scalping. The problem grew so severe that even British politicans began to pay attention. And with console shortages set to continue for the foreseeable future, it seems Microsoft is trialling a new way for customers to acquire a console – without everything being ruined by scalper bots.
The new program, called the Console Purchase Pilot, is available to Xbox Insider members in the US and offers the chance to reserve an Xbox Series X/S. Microsoft says that space is limited, however, so not all who sign up will be able to reserve a console.
Today we’re introducing the Console Purchase Pilot, allowing US #XboxInsiders on Xbox One to register for a chance to reserve an Xbox Series X|S console. Check the Xbox Insider Hub on Xbox One for details. Limited space is available and not all who register will be selected. pic.twitter.com/MBkQmbSDWc
— Xbox Insider (@xboxinsider) May 11, 2021
Microsoft explained that a “small audience” of Xbox Insiders will be invited to register for a console via the Xbox Insider Hub app for Xbox One and Windows 10. The purchase itself, however, is restricted to Xbox One consoles – and cannot be made from your PC, web browser, Xbox 360 or Xbox Series X/S. The program is clearly aimed at Xbox One users who are looking for an upgrade. In theory, this should make it harder for scalpers to purchase several consoles or use bots to swipe stock before humans can place an order.
The program is unfortunately only available in the US for the time being, but it would be good to see this rolled out to other regions to ensure real customers can obtain consoles before they get swooped up and stuck on eBay.