Update, August 24: The current version of this story has moved. This version is no longer updated.
Thursday will see another PS5 restock at PlayStation Direct. The official Sony store for everything PlayStation sent another batch of email invites to those lucky enough to receive exclusive store access to purchase a PS5 start at noon PT (3 p.m. ET). Then starting at 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET), there might be a queue for everyone else to access the store. If you're wondering how you can get one of those exclusive access invites, read further below.
It's not easy to find a PS5. When new ones come in, the stock of consoles quickly sells out without fail. The best way to get one right now is to figure out which place is likely to have them next and be ready to buy right away. Need more help? We've assembled this guide to try to make getting a PS5 a little easier.
Why is it so hard to find a PS5?
Sony's newest console is still hard to find, months after launch. Contributing to the difficulty is the fact that scalpers are using bots -- and the global chip shortage continues. Sony says it's aware of the problem and is figuring out a solution, but right now it's still incredibly challenging.
"We're working as hard as we can to ameliorate that situation," Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan told Wired in May. "We see production ramping up over the summer and certainly into the second half of the year, and we would hope to see some sort of return to normality in terms of the balance between supply and demand during that period."
How do I get a PS5 from Sony's PlayStation Direct?
The store with the most frequent PS5 restocks is still PlayStation Direct, where drops often take place in the afternoon and require people to queue up for a chance to buy a console. If you don't get one at the time, it still helps to join the queue, as some patient and lucky customers may receive a priority access email directly from Sony. The company hasn't provided all the details about these PS Direct emails, but you must sign up for Sony marketing emails and have a PS Plus subscription -- and you must be logged in to your PSN account. If luck is on your side, then there's a chance Sony will send you an invite to buy a PS5.
When you're in a queue, one thing to be aware of is how much time it says you have before you get to the front of the line. The shorter, the better, but it's not a guarantee. To help your chances, once you're in a queue, share the link with your other devices like your phone. Make sure each device uses a different IP address (such as having your phone on its mobile plan while your computer uses your home Wi-Fi). This can improve your chances, as your other device might be put into a different queue that moves at a faster pace. Even if you don't get a PS5, as mentioned earlier, you still could get a pass to buy one on the next go-round.
What are some helpful tips for finding a PS5?
While major retailers like Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target and Best Buy don't usually give much notice ahead of a restock, your best chance of scoring a PS5 is to log on right when inventory drops. Even then, nothing is guaranteed, but there are ways to improve your chances.
First tip: Don't wait until you see an alert for a PS5 inventory drop. Check the links at major retailers for stock updates daily or even multiple times a day. (We've got them all lined up below.) If you do happen upon some PS5 availability, go all-in with as many browsers and devices as possible. On a desktop, for example, open the retailer's page in Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Then do the same on your phone and tablet. The more devices and browsers, the better. It's like with lottery tickets: The more you have, the better your chances of winning.
Second tip: Create accounts at the different retailers and make sure you're already logged in if you're going to try to get a PS5. Make sure all your shipping, bill and payment info is updated on whatever device you can buy from, whether it's a laptop, desktop or phone. This makes checking out a lot faster, which is crucial as retailers' sites get quickly bogged down, leading to people losing their chance of securing a PS5.
Where else can I buy a PS5 if I'm willing to pay extra?
If you're starting to crack and considering buying a PS5 right now (and we know that with the number of big PS5 games about to drop over the next few months, the pressure is on), you can do so, but at the cost of a hefty markup on sites like eBay and StockX. On eBay, for example, we've seen PS5 units priced over $1,000. We think it's worth it to wait it out and get the PS5 at sticker price.
Best Buy is offering the PS5 with Blu-ray for $500 as well as the $400 Digital Edition (which you can find by clicking the button below). The retailer is also offering a slew of accessories on its PS5 landing page.
If you've decided you simply can't wait another moment for Sony to get its act together and flood the market with inventory, eBay is a shortcut to getting your own PS5 right now. That said, let me reiterate our advice: No PS5 is worth spending hundreds over list price, and that's exactly what you'll have to do if you buy from an eBay reseller. The average PS5 price on eBay is about $850.
OK, you've exhausted all of the online and brick-and-mortar retailers, and you've decided you're willing to pay upward of a $300 markup to get this puppy soon. As your friends, we have to tell you: Don't do it. But if you don't want to listen to us, you might want to check out StockX, an eBay alternative that made its name in the secondary market for sneakers and designer clothing. Last time we checked, prices for the PS5 were hovering around $700.