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Walmart doesn't want bots to snag your new PS5 or Xbox Series X

The retailer detailed its efforts to stop "Grinch Bots" in their tracks.

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Dan Ackerman/CNET

Given the limited supply of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S video game consoles, they've been selling out quickly whenever a retailer gets new stock. Walmart announced plans Tuesday to make sure its stock gets in the hands of actual customers instead of bots

Walmart says it has built and optimized its bot detection tools to get the majority of available consoles into the hands of legitimate consumers. The announcement notes that bots can order several units in the time it takes a person to order a single one. Walmart's software will try to halt these automated programs and will cancel any orders it finds made by bots that slipped through the initial layer of detection.

"One bot preventative action we implemented just hours before the PlayStation 5 event on Nov. 25 blocked more than 20 million bot attempts within the first 30 minutes alone," said Jerry Geisler, Walmart's chief information security officer.

Its plan will soon be tested as the retailer giant is set to sell its next batch of consoles at noon PT (3 p.m. ET) Thursday

Update: Anecdotal evidence makes it seem like bots still made it tough for consumers to get their hands on a console during this latest sale, with the PS5 selling out within seconds. We've reached out to Walmart for comment.

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