Nintendo sales

“Guerrilla” sales, crowdsourcing: the game console crisis in Japan

Hoping to discourage crowding, many stores have moved sales online, using lottery systems, while others have moved to low-key sales that take place without prior warning, with consoles arriving on a random schedule.

The phenomenon is known as “guerrilla sales” in Japan, a term that first appeared with the Nintendo DS console, a victim of its own success in the 2000s.

Some players are fighting back with their own tactics, including one who created a website gathering crowdsourced information.

“Last summer, I spent three months trying to buy a PlayStation 5, but every time I went to a store, they were sold out,” says the 40-year-old Japanese artificial intelligence researcher who asked to remain anonymous. .

“The only option was to phone each store or find information on Twitter,” he told AFP.

“I thought that everyone must have the same problem, and that creating a site to share information would help the community.”


The site’s creator says he spends hours on weekends sorting and checking up to 500 daily messages posted on his forum.

“For PS5 in Yokohama, they are now selling both Disc Edition and Digital Edition. It is not known how many units they have. There is no queue,” it reads. in an article.

The information gives players leads in real time, but is also fed into a timeline to highlight trends and analyzed by an algorithm designed to predict when stores will be stocked.