One of this year's hottest holiday gifts is sold out, seemingly everywhere. With Christmas just a week away, the Sony PlayStation 5 remains one of the hardest items to locate to buy. Every major retailer is sold out of the popular gaming system and getting information about where and when the systems are going to return has been extremely difficult.
The shortage has been blamed on a host of factors. There is an ongoing shortage of critical computer chips needed to manufacture the system itself. The supply chain is still bottlenecked, especially in Los Angeles where many of the systems are trying to enter the United States. Those factors are trying to compete with historic demand for video games in general. The pandemic boosted video game sales to historic levels which has driven unprecedented demand for new gaming systems.
All of that adds up to empty store shelves.
In the wake of the shortage a new network of rumors, tips and tricks have sprung up in order to try and track down the impossible-to-find systems. Retailers are trying to share when their shipments are supposed to arrive so prospective customers can plan on swooping in and gobbling up one of the rare items when they reappear.
Despite the attempt at transparency, finding a PlayStation 5 to buy remains frustrating. All of the major retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop continue to show their stocks as completely sold out. Finding an available PlayStation 5 online has become nearly impossible and people are lucking into a purchase rather than being able to find them consistently.
To make matters worse, experts have warned that armies of digital bots are exasperating the problem. Tech-savvy sellers have programmed bots to surf the web 24/7 to find in stock deals and buy them before living people can. Unlike regular people, these bots do not need to go to work, eat or sleep. That means when a PlayStation 5 does come up for sale online, they are being instantly bought by watchful bots. These sellers then turn around and try and resell their purchases for huge profits on secondary sites.
The best chance to find a system seems to be to try and go in person to a brick-and-mortar retailer and buy one off the shelf.
As Christmas fast approaches, the odds of getting a system now are becoming slimmer by the day. Hopefully, by next year, the problems plaguing the industry begin to resolve themselves, and the supply of the much wanted PlayStation 5 will return to normal levels. In the meantime, it might be time to figure out a Plan B for the gamer in your life.