PS5 Event In Tokyo Descends Into Chaos As Shoppers Riot To Get Console
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Shoppers headed to Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo's Akihabara shopping district to try and buy one of a limited number of the highly sought-after consoles, which were being dished out on a first-come, first-served policy - using numbered tickets instead of a lottery system, which has become the standard in Japan.
However, the event proved to be so chaotic it was reportedly cancelled and the police were called.
According to VideoGamesChronicle, the set-up had been fairly civilised until Yodobashi staff began distributing tickets, which caused the crowds to start pushing, shoving and shouting.
Creatures Inc's Dave Gibson tweeted footage from the rabble, tweeting: "Oh my God!!!!"
His tweet has since racked up more than 9,000 likes and 6,000 retweets.
Gibson added: "They cancelled the sale due to people being insane!! Pushed so hard even the cash registers and staff went backwards. I've never seen that kind of insanity in Japan before..."
The Metro reports that eventually the police arrived and the crowd was dispersed - while the consoles were apparently left unsold.
Gibson, who works at Pokémon developer Game Freak as an interface designer, estimated that around 70 percent of the crowd were scalpers looking to sell the consoles on for inflated prices rather than true fans.
According to Kontaku, the Akihabara store was only one of two Yodobashi Cameras in the greater Tokyo-Yokohama area that doesn't require the retailer's black credit card to purchase the hardware - a requirement that was supposedly brought in to thwart resellers.
A manager at CrepChiefNotify revealed the group got its hands on just under 1,000 of the consoles during pre-sales in September, along with a load more since they went on general sale.
Speaking to Business Insider, he said: "Our total collective number is 2,472 PS5 consoles across all of our members."
Added to its presale purchases, that takes its total haul to just short of 3,500.
The manager, named Tom, explained the group 'knew where to go before they announced it', and were 'watching all the sites for when they drop stock' and 'running bots for members to almost 100 percent guarantee at least one PS5'.
He added: "Bot developers have seen the demand rise for next-gen consoles and have changed their focus from being sneaker-focused bots into multi-use bots for electronics too."