On September 22nd Xbox launched pre-orders for the upcoming “Xbox Series X” and subsequently caused a massive wave of confusion. On Amazon the previous generation “Xbox One X”, which was also given a banner that day, saw a spike in one day sales around 747%. The fast-paced nature of the console launch may have led many consumers to accidentally buy the older “Xbox One X” in a panic. Minutes after the launch madness occurred many users took to twitter to mock the plight of confused consumers.
Unfortunately, the humorous madness of the “Xbox Series X” launch might have future implications when it comes to Black Friday. During the holiday season thousands of parents must frantically buy toys and games for their children. The fact that gamer centric masses could not properly pre-order the upcoming console with 100% accuracy does not bode well for the upcoming parent purchase spree. Many younger gamers could be getting Christmas presents that are lagging one generation due to the confusion caused by the Xbox naming scheme.
Another explanation for the “Xbox One X” frenzy would be that bots have become even more prevalent for all online hardware launches. The naming scheme of the Xbox console line-up could easily confuse badly coded scalping bots created by opportunistic individuals. The prevalence of scalping bots was first bemoaned by social media this fall season during the launch of the anticipated GTX 3000 series GPUs. The many seemingly confused purchases of the last gen Xbox console could be a warning sign of the future of all gaming related hardware launches for the rest of 2020.
Bots or not the “Xbox Series X” console launch was a confusing mess and this does not bode well for the upcoming dreaded Black Friday shopping season that will most likely be heavily online due to Covid-19.
Sources: https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/22/21451624/xbox-one-x-amazon-series-x-preorder-accident, https://www.gameinformer.com/2020/09/22/xbox-one-x-sales-skyrocket-as-preorders-for-xbox-series-x-go-live, https://www.nme.com/en_asia/news/gaming-news/xbox-one-x-series-x-sales-spike-confused-mistake-2759397, https://www.gamesradar.com/xbox-one-x-sales-skyrocketed-on-amazon-today-and-mistakes-may-have-been-made/