After multiple retailers surprised everyone with PS5 restocks last week it’s entirely possible this week will continue the trend, especially now that more details surrounding the “lighter” version of the consoles have started to appear. We know the big change is around the heat sink, but it’s not entirely clear how big a difference this actually makes. It’s likely this change is the result of a supply shortage with the current heat sink, and with Sony trying to make as many of these consoles as possible right now the change in vendor meant more could be made. Whether this change will impact performance has yet to be determined, but for the moment if Sony is able to get more consoles in hands it’s a good thing.
Want to get your hands on a PS5? We’ve been tracking all of the places selling both the standard edition and the digital edition of the PS5 for months, helping thousands of people get their hands on the console when they appear. If you’ve been having trouble locating one yourself, this article has all of our tips for getting to checkout, as well as how to track when the next PS5 batch will be available to buy.
Where has the PS5 been available recently?
After last Wednesday’s PS5 restocks at Walmart, GameStop (in bundles) and Amazon (via its Treasure Truck program), things have been relatively quiet. There was a small Target PS5 restock on Friday morning, but stock varied by location and store pickup was required.
Here’s what we’ve found recently:
Why is the PS5 so hard to buy?
There are three big reasons why you’re still struggling to get a PS5. The first is the most obvious: The system is really popular. Sony says the PS5 is its best-selling console and has already sold 10 million units since launch.
The second reason is the current chip shortage impacting most of the world’s electronics. Sony did say it has secured enough chips to meet its goal of 14.8 million consoles for the fiscal year.
As for the last reason, it comes down to bots. Resellers are using software to purchase a massive number of PS5s at once, leaving only a few for actual humans to buy. Retailers added various bot protections during PS5 restocks, but these restrictions only hamper resellers so much.
How do I get a PS5 from Sony PlayStation Direct?
The store with the most frequent PS5 restocks is Sony’s official store, PlayStation Direct. Drops usually happen at 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET) during the middle of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). What Sony has done lately is give a lucky few email invites for exclusive access to the store, which typically starts at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET).
To get one of these special invites, you not only need luck, you also need a PSN account. You can sign up for one on the PSN website and it’s free. While signing up, make sure to accept marketing emails from Sony. From here, it’s a matter of being patient and having a little luck on your side. It appears priority access emails are sent randomly, but you will need to partake in one of the queues on PlayStation Direct in order to be considered.
PlayStation Direct PS5 restock works a little differently than other retailers. At the start time, there’s a welcome page with a countdown clock indicating when the queue will start. You can stay on this page and when time is up, the website will begin placing people in line to buy a PS5. The page will update and say how long you’ll have to wait, but it’s not a guarantee. To help your chances, once you’re in a queue, share the link with your other devices like your phone. Make sure each device uses a different IP address (such as having your phone on its mobile plan while your computer uses your home Wi-Fi). This can improve your chances, as your other device might be put into a different line that moves at a faster pace. Even if you don’t get a PS5, as mentioned earlier, you still could get a pass to buy one on the next go-round.
What are some helpful tips for finding a PS5?
Major retailers like Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target and Best Buy don’t usually give much notice ahead of a restock. Sometimes they’ll have a restock in the morning, other times in the afternoon and in some cases, even in the middle of the night. Here are some tips to help you get the jump on the competition.
First tip: Don’t wait until you see an alert for a PS5 inventory drop. Check the links at major retailers for stock updates daily or even multiple times a day. (We’ve got them all lined up below.) If you do happen upon some PS5 availability, go all-in with as many browsers and devices as possible. On a desktop, for example, open the retailer’s page in Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Then do the same on your phone and tablet. The more devices and browsers, the better. It’s like with lottery tickets: The more you have, the better your chances of winning.
Second tip: Create accounts at the different retailers and make sure you’re already logged in if you’re going to try to get a PS5. Make sure all your shipping, bill and payment info is updated on whatever device you can buy from, whether it’s a laptop, desktop or phone. This makes checking out a lot faster, which is crucial as retailers’ sites get quickly bogged down, leading to people losing their chance of securing a PS5.
Third tip: Keep checking back with this post and follow CNET and Oscar Gonzalez on Twitter for updates.
Where else can I buy a PS5 if I’m willing to pay extra?
If you’re starting to crack and considering buying a PS5 right now (and we know that with the number of big PS5 games about to drop over the next few months, the pressure is on), you can do so, but at the cost of a hefty markup on sites like eBay or StockX. On eBay, for example, we’ve seen PS5 units priced over $1,000, although prices have slowly made their way down to approximately $700.
Where to buy a PlayStation 5
You can check inventory on the $400 Digital Edition at Walmart by clicking the button below, or you can try to snag the pricier PS5 with Blu-ray for $500.
Target offers the PS5 with Blu-ray for $500 in addition to the PS5 Digital Edition, which you can find by clicking the button below.
You can check out Amazon’s page for the $400 Digital Edition via the button below, or, if you’d rather, get in line for the PS5 with Blu-ray for $500.
See the detailed instructions above for more info on how to queue up for a PS5 availability at Sony’s PlayStation Direct.
Best Buy is offering the PS5 with Blu-ray for $500 as well as the $400 Digital Edition (which you can find by clicking the button below). The retailer is also offering a slew of accessories on its PS5 landing page.
Newegg’s PS5 page has multiple bundles that include additional controllers and games along with the console. You can see the different options by clicking on the button below.
If you’ve decided you simply can’t wait another moment for Sony to get its act together and flood the market with inventory, eBay is a shortcut to getting your own PS5 right now. That said, let me reiterate our advice: No PS5 is worth spending hundreds over list price, and that’s exactly what you’ll have to do if you buy from an eBay reseller. The average PS5 price on eBay is about $850.
OK, you’ve exhausted all of the online and brick-and-mortar retailers, and you’ve decided you’re willing to pay upward of a $300 markup to get this puppy soon. As your friends, we have to tell you: Don’t do it. But if you don’t want to listen to us, you might want to check out StockX, an eBay alternative that made its name in the secondary market for sneakers and designer clothing. Last time we checked, prices for the PS5 were hovering around $700.
More PlayStation 5 coverage
This story is regularly updated with the latest PS5 stock news.