Sony released 12,300 of the beautiful 20th Anniversary version of the PlayStation 4, and you had to jump through some interesting hoops to pick one up for cheap.
You could have also tried your luck at pre-ordering a system or attempt to grab one of the units as they go on sale online, but the demand has far outstripped the supply. This is, of course, leading to inflated prices for the hardware on the secondary market.
“That’s not what we want to see happen,” PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara told Eurogamer.
“It’s inevitable some proportion of that will happen, and very hard to prevent it completely,” he continued. “We did think things through. But in each and every case, the way you get hold of one of these consoles requires some fan knowledge, so we’re trying to tap into the people who love the brand the most, and put them at an advantage, because they’re the people who keep us in business, who inspire this whole 20 year legacy.”
To pick up one of the inexpensive units in the UK you first had to track down the pop-up store, bring a piece of PlayStation memorabilia, and say the secret phrase: “I crashed my bandicoot.”
The hardware was also auctioned off for charity in Spain, and it will be made available in small amounts online across a number of days. Sony is clearly trying its hand at making sure resellers have a harder time than just camping out before moving the units online for profit.
Sony is in a tough situation: Making more would dilute the fun of having such a limited edition console, while raising the price would have led to criticisms of gouging the fans.
It’s not all terrible news for players, as one unlucky seller “sold” their console for $1. The action remains hot online, as many systems have multiple bids over $1,500 on eBay as of this writing. Sony may not like the fact that many of these systems will be resold for much more than the asking price, but this is the result of selling a limited item at what is effectively well below market value.