The holidays have come and gone and the PlayStation 5 remains hard to find. Even after Sony promised fans that more restocks were coming before the end of the year, it was virtually impossible to track the console down without constantly stalking retailer pages.
While it’ll likely be much easier to track down the system once the initial hype dies down and the most fervent gamers already claim their own consoles, it'll remain difficult going into 2021. Both Sony and retailers alike have been all but silent about what we can expect at the top of the year, which will surely leave fans scrounging for news. While there’s not a lot to report so far, we’ve dug up everything we know about the console’s January status so far and we’ll be updating this article as we know more.
Popfindr, OctoShop, and other tools to find PS5 consoles
Finding a PS5 requires a lot of persistence and a bit of luck. The best bet is to set up some sort of tracking system that can help keep you constantly up to date. Luckily, there are extremely helpful tools for those that want to net themselves a console. PopFindr is an essential tool to start with. This app directly checks the inventory of your local stores and then lets you know if anything has changed.
Alternatively for online shopping, OctoShop is a Google Chrome extension that you can set to notify you every single time the PS5 goes back in stock at your preferred storefront(s). If you'd rather just say up to date on random restocks, you also might want to check out @Wario64, @PS5StockAlerts, the Stock Informer Discord channel, and this article as it is updated throughout the holidays. And if you select the bell-shaped icon after following one of the aforementioned Twitter accounts, you'll get push notifications sent to your phone.
So far, Target is the main retailer to watch. In the final week of December, rumors have been swirling that a PS5 restock is incoming. That had some fans waking up at 3 a.m. Eastern on December 28 to make sure they didn't miss a chance to nab one. Those rumors didn't quite pan out, which means that potential buyers are still waiting with bated breath.
The rumors say that a sale is expected to happen sometime by December 29. However, that was based on a tip that Target's warehouses were getting a shipment in, which doesn't appear to have happened quite yet. Considering that the rumor is prevalent, it seems likely that a Target restock is happening soon, so your best bet is to camp out on the pages for the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition and pray.
It's only tumbleweeds so far when it comes to other retailers, but there's plenty of data to pull for trend-watchers. Best Buy was the last major retailer to get a PS5 restock back on December 21. The retailer has previously given one day's notice before putting new consoles up (though it also gives no notice at all other times), so following the Best Buy Twitter is essential.
In the past two sales, the console has gone on sale in the early afternoon on the east coast. The last one happened just before 1:30 p.m. Eastern and the one before was around 12:30 p.m. Eastern. That's perfect timing for you to refresh the PS5 standard and Digital Edition listing on your lunch break.
Rather than dumping all its consoles at once, Walmart has a tendency to release the PS5 in waves. During its last restock on December 17, the retailer put the system up for sale at 3 p.m. Eastern and released more every ten minutes or so. Walmart tends to give plenty of notice on Twitter as well, making it easy to know when you'll need to be online. While there are no new updates on the next wave, Walmart is generally a reliable way to secure a system, so keep checking back.
Amazon restocks have been fairly consistent since the PS5 launched, but also somewhat sporadic with timing. The last major restock happened on December 17, the same day the system went up at places like Walmart and PlayStation Direct. Amazon's restocks tend to skew a little later than other retailers, with the most recent one happening around 6 p.m. Eastern. That timeframe isn't a surefire bet, but it's a similar window to some of Amazon Canada's recent restocks, so evening seems to be the time to check in on the standard and Digital Edition listings.
GameStop has been unreliable throughout the new console launches, often opting to sell limited systems in store. The last online sale happened on December 18 at around 3:30 p.m. ET. The benefit of checking GameStop is that they tend to put several bundles on sale alongside the standalone console and Digital Edition, so you'll usually have a few chances to get something if you're willing to make a bigger upfront purchase.
Sam's Club hasn't seen any new restocks since December 12, but more consoles are expected to arrive at the retailer in early 2021. Like GameStop, Sam's Club tends to offer bundles that feature games and extra controllers, so it's a good way to get everything at once if you can.
The only hitch is that you'll either need to be a Sam's Club member to order or pay a 10% service fee. Considering how expensive the PS5 is on its own (not to mention how pricey bundles get), this might only be a financially feasible option for members.
For Costco members, the retailer had plenty of restocks when the PS5 launched in November. Those have slowed down a bit since then, becoming more sparse. The retailer did have the console and bundles on sale on December 8 and December 10, both going live in the later afternoon between 2 and 4 p.m. Eastern. For now, that's your best bet when it comes to staking out restocks there.
PlayStation Direct has been pretty consistent when it comes to putting up restocks, but it's a bit of a mess compared to other retailers. Sony puts fans into a queue system and there's really no guarantee that you'll see the end of that line before systems sell out. Still, there's no harm in opening a tab up and sitting in it, so check Inverse's guide on getting a system through PlayStation Direct to make sure you're prepared.