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The Real Reason Police Had To Break Up A PS4 Sale

A store in France announced that, as part of a promotion, it would sell PS4s at a special low price. Shocking, right? Call the cops!

Well, this bargain turned out to be more than Lidl bargained for. The supermarket found itself absolutely mobbed by people trying to get their hands on €95 ($106.70) PS4s. The crowd clogged the sidewalk outside the store, pressed up against the building, and generally looked like a scene from a zombie movie or a Black Friday sale.

Of course, it wasn't the deal itself that caused the police to step in — it was the massive crowds this deal drew. The police showed up around 8 a.m., half an hour before the store was supposed to open. They initially tried to manage the press of people, some of whom had camped there overnight. However, as the situation continued to escalate, eventually the officers dispersed the people using tactics that seem to have included tear gas. Around 10:30 a.m., two and a half hours after the police arrived on scene, reports were that the crowd was down to about 150 people and the situation was back to normal.

Lidl France made a statement on Twitter – which was interpreted using Google Translate – saying this individual store had not been in touch about the sale. However, it noted that similar sales had been done at other locations without any problems. This one seems to have gotten out of hand due to a post that went viral, attracting much more attention than the supermarket was ready for. The tweet apologizes for any inconvenience, then goes on to say that the store had to be closed temporarily and the PS4 sale was cancelled permanently.

Replies to the announcement were fairly predictable. Some people were disappointed that they wouldn't be able to get cheap consoles after all, plenty scolded the store for not preparing for the event better, and a few polite souls simply thanked Lidl France for the information.

Why all the excitement for PlayStation 4? The console has been available since 2013. It's old news. The big Sony stories these days are, naturally, all about the Future of Gaming event, which revealed the PS5 and a lot of exclusives for it.

Well, for one thing, the PS5 was initially slated to be released late this year. Unfortunately, now there are rumors that might not be possible anymore thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, so people who had been planning to wait for the new hotness might not feel like waiting that long. That's just speculation, but it's an undeniable fact that the Future of Gaming event got people talking about PlayStation again.

Fans are hyping themselves up over the new games, of course; but they're also getting excited about the console's incredible speed and even its strange appearance. Unlike the Series X, which seems to be focusing on backwards compatibility and accessibility, the PS5 is aiming to be a total game-changer.

The PS4 shouldn't be counted out so easily, though. Even with its successor on the way, the system still has plenty to recommend it (especially at 66% off). For one thing, if you want to get ready for some of the major titles that were announced in the Future of Gaming event, right now you can only play their prequels on PS4. The Last of Us and Marvel's Spider-Man are phenomenal PS4 exclusives that have a sequel and an add-on game, respectively, coming out for PS5. Then of course there's Horizon Zero Dawn. While that will also become available for PC this summer, you'll need a pretty good gaming rig to run it. Unless you've already got one, it'd be a lot cheaper to pick up a $100 PlayStation and prepare yourself for Forbidden West that way.

And of course, even though the Future of Gaming has consumed Sony news lately, there are plenty of non PS5-related reasons why people might want a cheap PS4. God of War, anyone? 

With the next generation right around the corner (relatively speaking) it's not surprising that stores are trying to unload their leftover PS4s. This Lidl store's event was, if anything, too successful. So successful that the police had to come in and shut the whole thing down. Regardless of the unfortunate way this particular sale ended, it goes to show that there's still a big market for current gen consoles.