DualShock 4 with a Rat

I’m not one for hitting Black Friday sales really hard, but that doesn’t mean I can’t sniff out deals via the Internet. I have internet-sniffing technology, you see…

Actually, the sniffing metaphor is a pretty bad one.

Anyway, I’ve complained in the past about my DualShock 4 controllers wearing out because of my absurd amount of Red Dead Online playtime. I’ve worn out three PS4 controllers now (and I have at least four that have mysteriously disappeared), which means my fully functional PS4 controller options have dwindled down to just one. But I’m not willing to bite the $60 bullet for a new one, especially with the PS5 now on store shelves.

Well, I meant that metaphorically, but it’s not a good metaphor because the PS5 is literally not on store shelves, and that’s becoming a problem.

So anyway, I stumbled upon GameStop’s Black Friday sale, which had DualShock 4 controllers going for $30 a pop. I could actually get two of them for the price of one, and it even looks like they have the crystal clear version in stock. I have a fondness for clear controllers (as well as clear Pepsi, but that’s a ramble for some other time), so I decided it was time to get some new Dualshock 4 controllers. Well, used DualShock 4 controllers.

I rushed to the crystal color option, clicked the “Add to Cart” button, and bam! It was a no go.

DualShock 4

Apparently, this item was sold out. Or else it was never available. Man, GameStop really needs to get on top of their online shopping experience.

As my mind began spiraling into an unnecessary frenzy of worst-case scenarios, I searched for more DualShock options at this low, low price. How about Blue Wave? Gone. Midnight Blue? Also gone. Magma Red? Gonzo, Alfonzo.

My last resort was the basic black DualShock 4. It’s not the prettiest controller in Sony’s lineup, but a pair of them should at least let me enjoy 500 more hours of Red Dead Online (which I’m maybe inclined to do since a new update is on the way). The sale was finalized, and I now have two DualShock controllers heading toward my apartment.

All of this just has me scratching my head over why GameStop is hawking used products as part of their Black Friday sale. It creates problems like this, as stock levels are going to be disastrously hard to control. And their website doesn’t really have the chops to handle rapidly changing inventory levels, meaning the whole process is inevitably going to devolve into an apocalyptic nightmare. Which it did.

GameStop is a sinking ship

I mean, GameStop is facing an existential crisis at this point. They have been for a very long time now, as the digital marketplace pushes their business model into irrelevance (and the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to underscore their irrelevancy).

At this point, GameStop is basically donning a trenchcoat filled with ambiguously acquired merchandise and harassing passersby on some shady street corner. There, I think this time the metaphor actually does work!

And no, buying a couple used DualShock 4 controllers wasn’t as difficult as, say, picking up a PS5 right now, but it was still a headache — a headache that shouldn’t exist in a digital world. It is this digital world that’s driving GameStop out of business in the first place, and if they can’t adapt to it, they’re going to go the way of Blockbuster.

And I would feel a lot worse about that if I’d have gotten my hands on a crystal DualShock and had a smooth experience doing it. Hate to say it, but it’s true. GameStop, you are dead to me.

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