The wait is over...for some people. Sony’s newest console, the PlayStation 5, has officially launched in the UK. It’s been mired in controversy and technical difficulties, however, with deliveries, stock levels, and more under fire from disappointed customers. This won’t be what many gamers wanted or expected from Sony, although several retailers have said that they may get more stock later in the week, so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled if you haven’t managed to secure a console.
How did we get here?
Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer as to how Sony wasn’t able to procure enough PS5 stock to make sure everyone who wanted a console was satisfied. Retailers are also reporting receiving far fewer Digital Edition PS5 consoles than Disc Edition machines, which means that if you were hoping specifically for the lower-cost edition of Sony’s new machine, you’re even more out of luck, unfortunately.
There could be a number of reasons for the shortage. Of course, first and foremost on everyone’s minds will be the coronavirus pandemic, which has almost certainly affected the supply chain in a significant way. Despite Sony pledging to double production to meet demand, stores closing around the world and varying levels of virus in different countries means manufacturing has almost certainly been affected.
Why is the PlayStation 5 selling out?
That much should be obvious: Sony’s PS5 is the absolute must-have piece of technology for this holiday season, and plenty of gamers want it. Launch titles like Demon’s Souls, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are making gamers salivate at the prospect of 4K 60fps action. That’s why the PS5 is practically flying off the shelves right now.
It’s not just the titles, though. The PS5 is backward compatible at launch with a wide range of PS4 games, so you’ll be able to play pretty much your entire library if you’ve been lucky enough to procure one. Combine that with a 4K Blu-ray drive, new audio capabilities, and a brand new sleek controller, and it’s no wonder the PS5 has launched to such a rapturous reception.
What about scalpers?
Unfortunately, it does seem like scalpers have been rampant in this initial wave of the PS5 launch. Eagle-eyed opportunists have been looking out for stock arriving on websites and buying it up immediately with the intent to sell it on at an outrageous markup. There’s not really a way to prevent this from happening, although some sites do have preventative measures in place on a larger scale.
One recourse could potentially be legal. It might be possible to pass a law prohibiting the resale of consoles at a certain markup for a number of weeks or months following the release of hardware. This would be one way to combat the scalpers, who have almost certainly been making an absolute killing on PS5 consoles since the US launch and will continue to do so after the UK launch.
What does this PS5 shortage mean?
In the long-term, the PS5 shortage is unlikely to affect much at all. You’ll still be able to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 console in a few months’ time, if you can wait that long, and many retailers have said that they will be stocking new consoles as and when, so you should keep your eyes open. Those with a brain for history will remember that this occurred before, too, during the PS4 launch.
However, in the short-term, it means that you’re going to have to be extremely eagle-eyed in terms of keeping up with PS5 demand. You’ll need to know exactly where to look and how to check for stock on those websites, and unfortunately, many websites are currently operating a queue system, which means you’ll need to be even quicker than you usually would.
Which stores have PS5 stock?
It’s impossible to say on a definitive basis. The usual suspects - Amazon, GAME, Currys, John Lewis, Argos, et cetera - are, of course, worth keeping open in your browser and refreshing feverishly to find new stock. However, many sites and shops are saying they won’t have PS5 stock until the new year, and others are refusing to be drawn on exactly when you’ll be able to purchase Sony’s new wonder machine.
It’s also worth taking a look at less likely sources. Very, ShopTo, and Box are all solid platforms, although due to their non-tech-focused nature, they may run out of stock more quickly and take longer to refresh it. The bottom line here is that there’s no golden rule when it comes to which platforms will have PS5 stock; unfortunately, you’re just going to have to use your powers of observation.
We’ll have to wait and see how the PlayStation 5 launch goes from now until Christmas. Have you managed to get your hands on a PS5? Do you have any hot tips to help your fellow PlayStation fanatics get their hands on one? Let us know!