Rishi Sunak and games consoles

Will Rishi Sunak become the ‘next-gen Chancellor’ with £500 giveaway?

On Wednesday UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak will make announcements on how the government plans to kickstart the country’s economy post-pandemic. And one of the big rumoured initiatives is a £500 giveaway for everyone in the country (plus £250 for children).

The hot question then is how the nation would spend such a windfall, and what regulations would be put on it. But there’s only one answer for the games industry in 2020: PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Imagine putting £500 in the hands of every gamer in the country in the year of two next-gen console launches. The stock problems of the Switch in recent months are going to look paltry in comparison.

If it happens there will likely be limitations. Rumours say that consumers would have to spend the money at affected businesses, such as high-street retailers, restaurants, hotels etc. That means a PS5 from GAME on the high street might be OK, but an Xbox Series X pre-ordered through Amazon might not.

Such a system then wouldn’t allow for purchasers on eBay for instance, which should limit scalping on the secondhand market, though a vastly more competitive market for consoles in the first place would still likely see prices go sky high, and how better to convert your £500 voucher into cash than by buying and then selling a PS5 on eBay.

Industry wise we could see the quickest uptake of a new generation of hardware ever. Presuming of course that whatever scheme is announced let’s you pay for pre-ordered items to be delivered in Novemeber.

Now, there’s bound to be a lot of competition for this cash, expect to see car leases for just £500 upfront, I’d imagine that pubs like Wetherspoons will offer some pretty good deals for those willing to deposit hefty amounts with them on account.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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