Inside the World of the PS5 Restock Phenomenon

The PS5 fans battling time, bots and scalpers.

Since the PS5 was released last November, almost every gamer across the globe has been scrambling to get one. The first reactions came out; from heartwarming “You got me a PS5?!” videos, to Amazon boxes full of cat food. The chaos has only continued from there, as every corner of the internet erupts with every new rumour of a restock.

As with all things extremely online, a huge community of hopeful players is thriving around the PS5 economy. They trade information, chase evil-doers and generally get into arguments together. But, can this rag-tag bunch of misfits help you answer the crucial question, “How do I get a PS5?”

Why is supply so low?

Let’s do the obvious answer first; the pandemic slowed production and caused demand to skyrocket. Sony revealed this launch was the biggest in history, with the hype and lockdown boredom leading to more preorders than expected. A shift in gaming habits caused the UK gaming market to grow to over £7 billion last year, increasing demand.

Sony was also plagued with technical issues in production. The PS5 was a victim of an international shortage of semiconductors that have wreaked havoc across the technology and automotive sectors. A combination of work-from-home stockpiling and factory bottlenecks has caused a huge shortage of this tiny chip – and the situation shows no signs of improving.

Unsurprisingly, restocking information has been hard to come by. Prospective buyers have had no choice but to share information and pool resources to get an edge.

A community in arms

The community got together when November 12th rolled around, gathering on social media to share stock information. Gamers came together at an important time, most offering a helping hand and being as informative as they possibly could. It was a beautiful moment that unfortunately didn’t last long as things got a bit intense. The stress of trying to get a console took its toll with PS5 stock selling out in seconds.

Those who were lucky enough to get their hands on a PS5 were envied, berated and congratulated in equal measure. Spats were usually quickly forgotten, the images of happy owners holding the elusive white box served as inspiration. It was hard, but everyone knew it could be done!

The saga of the scalpers

You might remember some hype about scalpers – in fact, it has become such a big issue that even Boris feels the need to do something about it! Scalpers use online bots to buy up PS5s, then resell them for a huge profit. In early February, reports claimed scalpers owned 15% of the stock of PS5s in the USA!

But, the community found an innovative way to fight back. Taking to eBay, they bombarded these insanely priced consoles with fake bids, but then pulled out at the last minute – causing scalpers a serious headache. The resistance was well and truly underway.

Europe vs USA

Demand may have been just as high either side of the Atlantic, but the States had a huge advantage in terms of supply – PlayStation Direct. This beautiful service allows you to purchase directly from Sony, cutting out the middleman, and it’s only available in the good old US of A.

But, there’s no need to petition the EU just yet! There is some speculation that PS Direct (as the cool kids call it) is coming to Europe – so keep your eyes and ears open!

So, where can I buy a PS5?

No matter how hard it may seem, or how long the wait, there is always another restock coming. Stores are dropping every two weeks or so, and stock lasts minutes rather than the seconds we saw around launch. Retailers are also implementing more anti-bot measures. Customers can reserve a place so when the stock finally drops you’ll be the first to know and they’ll send you a personal link for purchase.

If you’re really serious, there is a world of social media pages and Discord channels that keep track of stock and offer live updates. You need to keep your wits about you, they’ll update you as soon as a store releases stock, but you won’t be the only one watching!

Some good Twitter accounts for stock alerts in the UK are PS5StockAlertUK or PS5UKStock. For our American friends – we have you covered too: try PS5StockAlerts or PS5StockNews. Look on Twitter for pages specific to your region if you’re still struggling to find one.

Stakester Protip

One of our lovely coworkers at Stakester recommends joining channels on Discord where groups hunt collectively for PS5s – that’s how she got hers! She says, “Community is key when it comes to getting your console. Don’t be afraid to get to know fellow gamers – they are a great source of tips. Plus, you might make some new friends along the way.”

Whether you get that PS5 or not, how about joining us on Stakester and become a part of our community of champions? Download the app today for a chance to win real money and prizes playing your favourite games like Call of Duty: Warzone or FIFA 21.