We’re nine months into the PS5’s lifespan, and you still can’t just pop into a shop or place an order online if you want to get your hands on Sony’s latest console. The Great PS5 Shortage of 2021 (and that little chunk of 2020) is ongoing, and in a world groaning back into gear, that seems a little bit odd to say the least.
Acquiring a PS5 can feel like a bit of an impossible task. It comes down to a combination of factors – preparedness, information, patience, luck, and whether or not the phase of the moon favours you or not, apparently. The fact is a lot of people just don’t have the time or the will to sit up until much-too-f**king-late o’clock refreshing the Argos website in the vague hopes a store near you is stocking it.
Through a combination of good luck, education, and dodgy back-alley favours, we’ve all managed to grab ourselves a PlayStation 5. So it’s not nearly as dire as it seems. Here’s a handy primer on the PS5 shortage – what caused it, how long it might go on for, and how you can beat it.
What caused the PS5 shortage?
Well, essentially – and you’re definitely going to be sick of hearing this by now – it’s all COVID-19‘s fault. On a surface level, social distancing measures and global supply chain disruption has slowed manufacturing across the board down to a crawl. Even now, with people queueing up to receive the vaccine in plenty of countries around the world, we’re still recovering from the impact. Things aren’t moving forward at full steam yet, and they probably won’t be until 2022.
PS5 manufacturing is being held back by the global semiconductor shortage, which is a problem extending far beyond Sony consoles. Semiconductors are electronic components used in basically every device you can think of – smartphones, washing machines, cars, and gaming consoles to name a few. The pandemic plummeted production capabilities whilst skyrocketing demand for electronics as more people came to work at home – so it’s a bit of a perfect storm. A perfect, extremely inconvenient storm.
Then, of course, you have those
absolute dickheads entrepreneurial souls who realised they could make a fair bit of bank scalping the new consoles, too – places like eBay and Facebook Marketplace were quickly flooded with people trying to sell the console for more than double its worth, cashing in on desperation.
Always leading by example, CeX hit the news for selling the console at a staggering £815 in December. At time of writing, they’re still charging £695 for a boxed disc edition. I’d say that puts them firmly in scalper territory, even if they are paying out £10 more than the console’s priced at in exchange.
If you’re interested in reading more about the global semiconductor/PS5 shortage, there’s a decent article on Forbes explaining what they are and why we don’t have that many right now.
Who sells the PS5 in the UK?
Luckily, you’ve got quite a few options – including a few that may surprise you. I’ve included a table of links below to most of the reputable known retailers you can order from, with links to the PS5’s page itself where possible.
- ShopTo.net (Note: This is where I scored mine from – with only three days turnaround for a backorder)
- Smyth’s Toys
- John Lewis
There’s probably quite a few I’ve missed there – but those are some of the most reliable retailers you can grab a console from. Unfortunately, none of those options currently have any stock – they tend to wait until they have a decent amount sitting around, and then drop them all at once, which causes a bit of a feeding frenzy.
That doesn’t mean you just have to sit around and wait to get lucky, though. As Roman general Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus famously said, “Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum“. Which roughly translates to “if you want the Sony PlayStation 5, prepare for war”. Or something like that. My Latin’s a bit rusty.
What can I do to help my chances of nabbing a PS5?
Really, there’s one option that trumps them all – check out this Twitter account for live alerts and hints on when the next drop might be. They post alerts and links to places that have the console in stock, and it can give you a bit of a leg up on grabbing one for yourself.
They also have a Discord server if that’s more your sort of thing – quite a few users have said the Discord server tends to find more success, but I got on just fine with the Twitter account.
They also run giveaways from time to time, and have given away entire PS5 consoles in the past – so check them out if you’re not having much luck elsewhere. Don’t give in to the scalpers and chancers who want to make a quick profit off of your desire for a PS5! It can be done legitimately – just takes a little bit of patience.
FULLSYNC is in no way affiliated with PS5 Stock UK on Twitter.
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