It’s not too late to try to score a PlayStation 5. Here’s where to look for the elusive PS5 in stores and online, as merchandise restocks arrive around on Sony direct and other sites.
If you’re still looking for a PS5 for a holiday gift or for yourself, there’s still a chance. I’m in the trenches with you, trying to nab one for my kid, and here’s where I’ve been searching and what I’m finding. I’ll update this article regularly as I find out more information.
Finding a PlayStation 5 has been a nightmare since it launched on Nov. 12. Retailers such as Walmart, Meijer, Target and Best Buy sold out fast. Bundles became the way to go, with GameStop, Antonline and Newegg offering bundles starting at $600-plus and even those sold out within an hour or less. PlayStation Direct periodically launches an online queue, but it’s difficult to score a unit as the line usually stays live for only about 20 minutes.
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Check websites regularly, use the refresh button
An important way to find a PS5 is to constantly check the main sites that sell the PS5, such as Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sam’s Club, Costco, Sony Direct, GameStop and Antonline, and refresh the page frequently.
On Dec. 3 and again on Dec. 9, Target released stock of the PS5 online across the US, but the stock sells out within minutes. Antonline had a short-lived restock that on Dec. 3, and offered it again on Dec. 9. The site froze up on Dec. 9, and many people were stuck with items in their cart they were unable to check out and purchase. I was one of those people. Costco restocked the PS5 bundle, but it sold out, too. Costco had a brief restock earlier this week, so people are hoping that means they’ll restock again. All of this means that there is PS5 stock out there and so refreshing and paying attention to retailer’s website is the way to go.
Walmart Canada had PS5 units go on sale Dec. 4, but they quickly sold out. Other Canadian retailers also have sold the PS5, but it’s not an option for those in the US to buy from Canada due to customs and such.
Best Buy often shows out of stock, but several times it’s given me an “Open Box” option for stock. But it’s been at least two weeks since I’ve seen this option appear. Best Buy hasn’t restocked, either. There are rumors online that Best Buy will restock this month.
There are other places to look for a PS5 right now. Retailers such as GameStop have been offering bundles of a PS5 console or digital edition paired with controllers and games for around $800, and they sell out fast. Adorama released limited stock online last week, but it sold out in four minutes.
Remember to continue to look at Walmart periodically, too. There have been quite a few people reporting walk-in purchases at Walmart during this past week. Earlier this week, one third-party was selling the PS5 for $1,799 on Walmart.com, but don’t opt for that scalper price.
Also look at Amazon. The retailer has been showing restocking, and sometimes it’s through third parties that are selling for scalped rates, but you might get lucky and find it for the regular retail price. Everyone has still been waiting for a big Amazon drop that has yet to happen.
You can use these direct links to go to the retailers’ pages for the PlayStation 5 digital edition and console version:
PlayStation Direct queue for purchasing
Buying a PS5 direct from Sony is a definite possibility as they restock periodically as well. A queue is formed when stock is available and it gives an approximate wait time and it will let you enter the purchase area once your time arrives. This actually happened once for me, and it told me my wait time would be more than an hour, but at the time the queue opened up, I had stepped away from my laptop and I missed my chance after being in a digital line for about 90 minutes. But this option does work, even if you’ve been waiting for a very long time as I had that day, so there’s hope.
At 5 pm EST on Dec. 3, Sony opened up the queue again. I jumped on immediately, thanks to social media alerts. The first notice said I had more than an hour to wait, but within about 20 minutes, that changed to a 45-minute wait. And then, around 5:30, it said my wait was down to 17 minutes, then at 5:38 pm, down to 11 minutes. (No, the time doesn’t actually count down in an orderly fashion. It kind of jumps around.) The next Sony update, sadly, at 5:45 pm, said that they were out of stock. I did not score a PS5. I was so close. The next day, on Dec. 4, the line opened up again. This time I made it to the 17-minute mark before stock sold out.
PlayStation Direct opened up the queue on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, so there’s a chance they’ll continue that pattern another day this week. The key is to get into the queue fast, and stock doesn’t start to sell until about 20 to 25 minutes after the line opens up. Then there’s about a 20-minute window before the stock sells out.
Follow PS5 social media accounts
Another option is to use social media to your advantage. There are many social media accounts providing regular updates on which retailers are offering potential merchandise drops of the PS5. Employees who work at the stores are leaking information, and shoppers are showing receipts as they find in-store units.
To take advantage of this source of information, find the social media accounts that you find trustworthy and follow them. A quick glance on Twitter has @spieltimes reporting Walmart walk-ins as a reputable source for PS5 units, as well as a possible PS5 queue opening up today on the PlayStation direct store online, and potential stock coming in at Target. And Canadian shoppers will have better luck at Walmart, according to @PS5StockUpdates, who accurately reported about the Walmart restock and other alerts.
Whichever option you choose to try to score a PS5, know that you’re not alone. I’m there with you and will keep updating this article with any information I find that might help in everyone’s search.
Details on the PS5
For those new to the PS5 shopping game, there are two versions. There is a $400 digital-only model and a $500 console version. The only differences between the two are that the console edition includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive to allow for PS5 Blu-ray disc games and PS4 Blu-ray disc games, and video from 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and standard Blu-rays and DVDs.