As I covered exhaustively last week in my worst article yet judging by the reaction in the comments, the PS5 has not been as easy to come by post-launch as its predecessor. Maybe it’s because everyone is bored at home since, as my colleague Ignacia puts it, there’s “nothing to do during quarantine except work, game, eat, and exercise.” Or maybe it’s because the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed severe limitations on manufacturing and fulfillment. But probably, it’s a combination of both. So of course, retailers are responding in the only way they know how, by milking it for all it’s worth, staggering out their supply and selling “re-stocks” as limited-time offers. It’s brilliant.
Hilariously, as deals posting legend Wario64 tweeted last night, GameFly, the Blockbuster of video games, tried to get in on the action last night. And despite the mockery in the replies over what was obviously a shameless cash grab, the fact is, it worked. Within a matter of minutes, before I had the chance to sign up for a 30-day free trial myself, the PS5 was sold out. And with no transparency around the number of consoles made available, it’s entirely possible only, say, 20 were sold out of thousands trying to buy one, in the hopes anyone who signed up for the service would forget they did after 30 days, that is, until they see a $16 transaction on their credit card statement that next month.
Now Walmart is back to remind you it exists—seriously, this is the most I’ve thought about Walmart in ages, and the first time I’ve personally tried to buy anything on its website in over a decade. Tonight at 9 PM EST, stay tuned, because Walmart insists this Black Friday “deal” (lol) that is the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition at full price will be available then. I have it on good authority (my dad, a merchandiser at one of the company’s retail locations, spoke with a Walmart manager last week) that this may be the last and best chance you’ll have to score Sony’s next-gen system in time for the holidays. The manager in question noted his store will have 30 units in stock, though he had seen photos of another location carrying three to four palettes. The PS5 will be eligible for store pickup, too, which he said he recommends over residential delivery.
Compared to specialty stores like GameStop and even Best Buy, Walmart seems to be the most promising option left for anyone still itching to get their hands on a PS5 by the end of the year. While GameStop’s Black Friday ad says every store will have a “minimum of two PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles at store opening,” your last shot at Best Buy may have been November 22 when the retailer said the consoles in its Black Friday ad would go on sale, according to this FAQ. As you might expect, those consoles also sold out, before most customers could add one to their cart I’m sure.
If you’re worried you won’t be able to finally cop that PS5 when the clock strikes 9, well, sadly you’re probably right. To further crush your spirit, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told Russian news agency TASS in an interview last Thursday, “Everything is sold. Absolutely everything is sold. I’ve spent much of the last year trying to be sure that we can generate enough demand for the product. And now in terms of my executive bandwidth I’m spending a lot more time on trying to increase supply to meet that demand.”
Remember, there’s always next year.