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How to get a Sony PlayStation 5 without giving in to resellers

Economics 101 is failing us.

Playstation 5 ps5 consoles
Image: Sony

UPDATE 1/9/2023 9:16 AM ET: PlayStation 5 availability has improved over the six months, but now Sony has stated that buyers should have an even easier time getting one in 2023. Dive deeper: Sony says getting a PS5 should be easier in 2023

This happens every time there is a new console release. There is a rush on retailers, resellers scoop up every console, and chodes like me write articles like this. While we can pray for a restock, even Sony has said it’s not gonna happen. Unless you want to purchase one on StockX or eBay for double the price. So with Christmas just around the corner, how are you going to get a PlayStation 5 to slip under the tree?

You aren’t. It’s not happening. Give it up and buy a Nintendo Switch instead. Wait until next year and hope for the hype to die down.

If you were thinking that perhaps you’d get a Microsoft Xbox Series X, you’ll run into the same issue. Resellers have scooped them all up, while retailers like Walmart and Target do nothing to protect against such transactions. At least Newegg is promising to attempt to curb that behavior during major launches, though it’s unlikely that’ll happen before the next run of consoles.

Your best bet this holiday season is to just suck it up and get something else. While Sony did give us some hope late last month, it can’t remedy the fact it didn’t produce enough machines.

Xbox series x and playstation 5
Image: KnowTechie

A couple of things converged on this year’s console launches that created the dearth of new machines for purchase. First, both Sony and Microsoft claimed this was the largest console launch ever, without providing sales numbers. Second, resellers have gotten better at writing scripts to scoop up the consoles as soon as they are stocked online. Third, the pandemic created logistics and distribution problems, limiting certain stock numbers in certain places. Fourth, that same pandemic (surely you’ve heard of it by now) kept consoles out of physical placement in stores for the most part, forcing gamers to compete with resellers to land a coveted console.

All that combined brought us to this point, where somehow Kevin was able to get a PS5, but the rest of us are staring at that out of stock notice as if it’s the last thing we see before we fade off into the abyss. Demand for consoles has been high all year long, so it’s no surprise that during a launch year there would be difficulties procuring a new console. Resellers have benefited greatly from this, so at least someone is going to bed happy every night. Now it’s up to us to teach the scalpers a lesson and not purchase one from them.

At least the few folks who got boxes of random crap when purchasing from Amazon UK will get their PS5.

Listen, getting pissed at retailers is futile, if not often justified by the way they allow resellers to use programs to scoop up all the consoles and graphics cards

But in the end, there’s not much we can or will do about it because we’re still refreshing, still showing up to Walmart, and pointing at the PS5 in the weekly ad. Walmart employees can’t conjure one out of thin air, so fucking be polite. I’m talking to the middle-aged white guy who looked like he ambled out of his elderly parents’ basement for the first time in a decade to berate the hapless Walmart employee because there were no PS5 consoles in stock.

The best way to get a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X (or for that matter, an NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti) is to be patient. Eventually, production will catch up to demand and there will be plenty on the shelves to go around. I know that for many gamers, patience is not their best attribute, but we have no choice. We can’t give in to the scalpers and pay double for something just because we want it now. Even if we can afford it, we’re setting a bad future example. They’ll just work harder to be sure they are the only primary market going forward. We don’t want that.

A healthy secondary market is fine, especially in the months and years after release. But an at-launch secondary market at a premium as the only place to procure a new thing is not good for the industry. It leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and that becomes the story, rather than the glory of a new console. “Yeah, but I had to pay double for it from some reseller cause it was sold out in-store”. Can you really not wait a few months for a console with limited at-launch games? Are your eyes really that hard-up for the moderate change in discernable graphics?

Yeah, probably. I want one too for some weird reason. Even though I’ve never owned a PlayStation console.

Until supply meets demand, there are plenty of great gifts for gamers to be had. We’ll have to take a breath and just be content with our Xbox Series S and PlayStation 4 consoles for a little bit longer. At least we have Cyberpunk 2077 to look forward to this year. Right? Right?

What do you think? Have you been able to snag a next-gen console? Still holding out hope for a PlayStation 5? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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