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After years of Discord servers and down time, you can (probably) buy a PS5 at the store


In previous console generations, the concept of stopping by your local big box store and buying a cool new console of your choice was not a luxury–it was simply the way things were. work. Over the past two years, the pandemic has completely changed the way most people shop for coveted items like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. However, in recent months, there have been signs of a culture showing The new lack around video game consoles may be fading. –at least in the short term.

If you’ve been trying to get your hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X for the past two years, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Eager buyers were greeted with “out of stock” notices at every retailer. Advertised stocks will be depleted within a minute or two of portals opening, if they weren’t for you in the first place. This isn’t the first console shortage gamers have faced – the Wii had problems at launch – but it’s arguably the worst ever. However, while the Xbox Series X should become relatively easy to find in 2022, the PS5 continues to be severely constrained in terms of supply.

Shortages during the pandemic can be blamed on many factors: growing interest in gaming as a hobby, ongoing shortages of key components, and general problems. about the supply chain. During that time, it was virtually impossible to purchase a new generation console for MSRP without using external resources to identify suitable opportunities. Desperate buyers turned to the secondary culture of Discord servers, Telegram channels, and Twitch streams to look for the next drop and take advantage.

Luke Winkie is a journalist who enjoys playing video games, both at leisure and at work. When the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles were announced for pre-order in 2020, Winkie had limited interest in picking up the new consoles at launch–they didn’t seem impressive enough to justify the effort. that force. Besides, he thinks he can buy one in a few months, when shortages will inevitably give way.

The God of War: Ragnarok PS5 bundle has emerged as a popular holiday pick.
The God of War: Ragnarok PS5 bundle has emerged as a popular holiday pick.

While he was able to get the Series X shortly after its release without much effort, the PS5 eluded him–as did many other interested parties. Now, two years later, he’s finally got his hands on the machine and although the buying process was completely painless after such a long wait, he’s still a bit bitter about the whole thing. set of events.

“For me, that’s not really an option,” Winkie said. “I’m not going to play the replenished sniper game. I’m too old for that. In a way, my refusal to play that game is an objection to how short the shortage has become. how ridiculous. PS5 would be easy to get. It’s been two years.”

True to his word, Winkie managed to get a PS5 at Target after accidentally discovering that they had God of War Ragnarok bundles in stock in the period leading up to Black Friday. Given that Ragnarok was the game he decided he couldn’t miss, it went very well. However, while Winkie is happy with his PS5, he is still waiting for the PC components to stabilize before upgrading his rig.

“I feel less tempted to shop because of how competitive the market is,” he said. “The faster these things get back to normal, the better.”

GameSpot contributor Jenny Zheng has a similar experience. As a PC and Switch gamer, they didn’t feel the need to jump out and buy a PS5 at launch, especially when it became clear that it would involve hanging out with random people in a social space. online like Discord or Telegram. As an avid gamer and journalist, Zheng has tracked several sources that send them announcements about hot game deals, including several Discord channels. However, there’s something about the PS5 shortage that they find particularly frustrating—especially since Zheng doesn’t see it as an urgent need.

“I’m sad to say that I’m lazy to buy consumer goods,” explains Zheng. “I’m not going to obsessively try to get XYZ, from the Ticketmaster queue to the PS5. You won’t see me in it. There’s no such thing as a must-have for me.”

Zheng still happened to buy their PS5 Madden bundle at GameStop, despite having no interest in the soccer game. While they admit they could have waited for a better bundle option, the easy availability of the box at their local game store is too easy to resist. Overall, Zheng was very pleased with their decision to wait for the box–even if it took quite a while to sort through.

The Xbox Series X has become pretty easy to find on store shelves, but the PS5 is largely still lacking in performance.
The Xbox Series X has become pretty easy to find on store shelves, but the PS5 is largely still lacking in performance.

However, the same goes for gamer Cassie Thomas, who bought the PS5 a few months after its launch. Like most buyers of the period, Thomas relied on an emerging network of transaction servers to protect the console.

Unlike those who see long queues or inconvenient return times as a big obstacle, as a fan of street fashion and a sports shoe fanatic, Thomas has spent years creating adapt to those measures. To them, the PS5 is just another tempting commodity to deal with. And luckily for Thomas, they were able to find a Walmart PS5 bundle via Telegram chat with all the accessories they wanted – albeit after wasting months on Sony’s waiting list without received a word.

“Part of the charm of the Telegram channel I ended up joining was that there were no messages from authorized users,” Thomas said. “It provides notifications about upcoming discounts and nothing else. Compared to the process of buying a heavily advertised shoe release, I found the checkout process to be quite seamless, with no page crashes. web or painful queues.”

Speaking for myself, I noticed at least 2-3 PS5 consoles on sale on store shelves in my local area in early December. However, with the arrival of the holiday season, One can’t help but wonder whether excess inventory will be snatched up by last-minute shoppers in the coming days. When doing research for this section, I noticed that many retailers are still out of stock online, including Best Buy and Walmart. Amazon continues to use a lottery-like “invitation” system, and on eBay you can find lots of PS5s for sale for $50 to $100 via MSRP. It’s also important to note that you can usually find the PS5 in stock on PlayStation Direct, if you want to get rid of the middle man entirely.

All in all, as long as these dashboards don’t stay permanently on store shelves, the online trading community will continue to churn. However, once the holiday boom wears off, it looks like the frenzy of shortages may be coming to an end.

The products discussed here are independently selected by our editors. GameSpot may receive a share of the revenue if you purchase anything featured on our site.

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