It feels almost impossible to nab a PlayStation 5. You can't walk into a store or add it to your cart on a website without a plan for how to get a console. Luckily, a few sites have been predictable in their PS5 hawking, namely Sony's proprietary storefront commonly referred to as PlayStation Direct. You can track the site using Twitter accounts like Wario64, PS5StockUpdates, PS5StockAlerts, and Spiel Times. Inverse spoke to Spiel Times about their top tips for acquiring your very own PS5 through PlayStation direct.
Here are 9 tips from the experts at Spiel Times to get a PlayStation 5.
What is PlayStation Direct?
PlayStation Direct is Sony's online store for selling PlayStation hardware and games. You can use it to purchase a PlayStation 5 or a PlayStation 5 Digital. When consoles are available, you'll be placed in a queue upon entering the website. The PS5's availability for the day will be shared via updates underneath the queue. Sony will immediately update the queue when PlayStations are out of stock for the day.
Once you reach the end of the queue, you'll be allowed to enter the PlayStation Direct store and purchase your console — assuming that stock remains.
If you want to be successful through this method, make sure you follow the tips on this list.
1. Don't camp PlayStation Direct
It may be enticing to wait for the PlayStation 5 queue to open up on Sony's website. Don't do that. After numerous alterations to the process, waiting directly on the website now seemingly causes Sony to flag you as a bot, barring you from entering the queue. This also means that you shouldn't use auto-refreshers on PlayStation Direct. Save that tomfoolery for somewhere else.
If you do camp, you'll have to clear your cookies and cache to get back into the queue. That's just a massive hassle and will make you lose precious time.
Follow the Twitter accounts previously mentioned for regular updates. Make sure to turn on notifications for each one by clicking the bell icon. This will notify you every time they tweet.
2. Be on guard on Tuesday through Friday starting at 2 p.m. Eastern
Sony has never explicitly stated PlayStation Direct's schedule, but through over a month of drops, the Spiel Times has formulated a loose schedule. PlayStation Direct stock usually drops on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at some time between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m Eastern.
3. Use Incognito mode for PlayStation Direct
Incognito mode treats you as if you just started using the browser. All your history is cleared, including your cookies and cache. This is one way to get around Sony's bot protocol.
4. Disc Editions are more available than Digital
More often than not, Sony has their store stocked with PlayStation 5 Disc editions. Plan on ponying up $499.99 to purchase your next-gen console. Digital is still available, but seemingly in smaller supply.
5. Don't panic if the queue goes from a minute remaining to an hour
Often when you first enter the queue, Sony will claim that you have x time remaining until your turn. That number will then increase exponentially. This is normal. Don't let it shake you.
6. Have multiple devices open with the queue
For every device open in the queue, you'll have a better chance of entering to obtain your PS5. These devices will preferably be on separate networks to distinguish their placement.
We don't know how Sony measures the queue. It could be first come, first served, or a lottery system. Due to this mystery, having multiple devices open will set you for any outcome.
7. Save your billing details to your PlayStation account before the queue
Even if you can get through the rough and tumble of PlayStation's queue, you might not be fast enough. Don't get held up by entering all your personal details. Do that before the queue even kicks off. You can add new billing information to your PlayStation account using this link. It will automatically be saved, preparing you for your imminent PS5 purchase.
8. Tell your bank about your plans
Nothing screams fraud like a big purchase out of the blue. Call your bank before purchasing your PS5. The Spiel Times told Inverse that multiple users have reported having their PlayStation 5 orders canceled after the purchase was caught by the bank's fraud squad.
9. Save your American Express card for another purchase
Despite all those Tina Fey commercials where she's living her best life using Amex, it's the worst card for PlayStation Direct. You cannot use it to purchase a PS5 from PlayStation Direct. So stick to Visa or Mastercard.