Finding the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X before they go out of stock is difficult, even if you're keeping track of what times different retailers add restocks. But there are tools that can help you keep track of when these consoles go in stock. One such tool is the OctoShop Chrome extension, which has made the rounds on the PS5 and Xbox Series X Reddit pages.
What is OctoShop? On Reddit, OctoShop has been pitched as a "something to let regular people compete with scalpers scamming on eBay." It's an extension for your web browser that will track and notify you when the PS5, PS5 Digital Edition, Xbox Series X, and/or Xbox Series S go in stock.
It'll even show the item's availability on other storefronts if you just barely miss out on getting it at a website like Amazon. The next-gen console hunt can be tough, but the OctoShop extension can make the search a bit easier. Reddit user Rithpath, one of the creators behind the extension, tells Inverse that it was a different console's scarcity that inspired the app's creation: The ongoing Nintendo Switch shortage that began earlier this year near the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"[We] started working on something that can solve these issues and help people compete with scalpers when consoles have these issues," they say. "The prototype actually helped me get a Switch when it was in high demand a little bit ago." They also noted that OctoShop is location-based, so it accounts for what the product's inventory status is in your specific region.
How to use OctoShop — The "OctoShop - In-Stock Alerts and Compare Prices" extension is available on the Google Chrome web store. After purchasing it and setting up an account with the email. Once it's installed, the extension will pop up once you're on an online storefront. From the extension, you can then choose that you want to be notified when it's back in stock.
You can even set the intervals its checks at (which range from instant to 1 hour), say if you only want to be notified if it drops below a certain price, and set the amount of time that you want to track the item for. On the technical side of things, Rithpath tells Inverse that the extension is checking each website at regular intervals set by the user to learn things like price or availability.
"Instead of a user having to refresh the page manually, they can just offload that work to us."
The Future of OctoShop — This extension is already quite useful, but Rithpath tells Inverse that there are plans to update the application in the future.
"The main feature of the extension longer term (after people get their in-stock notifs) is automatic price comparisons," he says. "So while you're shopping online, we check prices in the background and tell you if there's a better deal or the same product is available at another store." The team hopes to incorporate even more data like shipping speed into the mix so users "can get a better idea of what's the best deal for [them]."
Basically, the extension will be getting some improvements so you can see the benefits and negatives of a variety of storefronts before you order something like the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
If you're on the hunt for the new consoles, OctoShop is a helpful extension that will notify you when consoles are available and even compare your retailers to other ones as you order it. You can use it for things other than game systems too, so you might even find a use for it outside of the next-gen console hunt.
PS5 and Xbox Series X are available now.
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