It’s been more than a year since Sony launched the PlayStation 5, and it’s still incredibly tough to find one. The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is slightly easier to find, but that’s like saying it’s slightly easier to find diamonds than gold—still not very easy.
We can’t guarantee that we’ll help you find and buy a PS5 this year, but we’ve got some tips that might help. Put these tips together and you have a better chance of getting your hands on a shiny new console.
1. Sign Up for PlayStation Direct
PlayStation Direct is a way to buy the console direct from Sony. This doesn’t save money, and you’ll find that Sony’s own stock is usually depleted. But there’s a good reason to sign up for PlayStation Direct.
Even if there aren’t any PlayStation 5 models available when you visit the site (which is likely), Sony still lets you register to buy a PlayStation 5. This puts your details into a waiting list, which Sony will use to notify you when a PS5 is available for purchase.
In order to register with Sony and increase your chances of snagging a PS5, you’ll need a PlayStation Network account. Fortunately, even if you haven’t ever owned a Sony console, you can still sign up for a PSN account via the Sony website.
It’s tough to say when—or if—you’ll get an invite. The PlayStation Direct FAQ says that it bases its selections on “previous interests and PlayStation activities,” but doesn’t elaborate on what that actually means.
Assuming you’re chosen, you’ll get an email with the date and time you can purchase your console, along with instructions on what to do.
2. Sign Up With Retailers
Retailers like Amazon and Best Buy occasionally restock their PlayStation 5 inventory, but they quickly run out—so don’t expect to be able to hit their website and buy one at your convenience.
Fortunately, most major electronics retailers offer the ability to sign up to receive notifications when a particular item is in stock. Sign up with as many retailers as you’re comfortable with to secure an advantage over other shoppers whenever the console is restocked.
Note that many major electronics retailers have restrictions in place on how you can purchase a PS5. Best Buy, for example, won’t ship PlayStation 5 consoles and instead requires you to pick up your PS5 at a nearby Best Buy location. Don’t have a nearby Best Buy? Too bad.
Some websites, like Walmart, make PS5 consoles available to paid subscription members (similar to Amazon Prime memberships). If you’re already a member, it may help you out—but we don’t recommend signing up to a paid subscription just to increase your chances of getting a PS5.
3. Shell Out for a PS5 Bundle
One simple tip is to open up yourself to the idea of buying a PlayStation 5 bundle. Even if you’re mainly buying a PlayStation 5 to play Demon’s Souls, you might also want to play Call of Duty—in which case buying a PS5 bundle with Call of Duty: Vanguard might not be a terrible idea.
Other PS5 bundles contain extras and accessories you’d probably purchase down the road anyway, like additional controllers and/or charging stations. If you’re comfortable spending a little more up front, PS5 bundles sell out less quickly than individual consoles.
4. Keep Up With Social Media Alerts
If you’re a social media fan, especially Twitter, there are entire accounts devoted to PS5 stock alerts.
5. Methods to Avoid When Buying a PS5
While the above methods may help you find an available PlayStation 5, it’s worth pointing out that there are some methods you should avoid. You don’t want to risk your money or risk getting ripped off.
Most importantly, don’t overpay for a PlayStation 5. There are scalpers out there that are unethically buying up as much PS5 stock as possible just so they can flip them for exuberant profit. Despite sellers’ best efforts to stop them, scalping is (sadly) still a thing.
And while this might be one way to get your hands on a PS5 right now, you’ll regret paying double or even triple the retail price once PS5 consoles are more readily available. Not to mention you’ll be contributing to the scalping epidemic by playing right into the scalper’s hands.
You’ll also want to avoid any case where the offer seems too good to be true, because it probably is. If someone is selling a PlayStation 5 for below retail price, it’s almost guaranteed to be a trap—given how quickly legit consoles are selling, you can be sure there’s something wrong.
You’ll either end up losing your money on a broken console, or it could be a stolen PS5 console that you may have to return to its rightful owner, or it might just be an outright scam and you’ll end up with nothing.
Don’t Give Up!
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to find a PlayStation 5 for sale is to stay persistent. The longer you keep at it, the more likely you are to get your hands on one. Be patient—that persistence will eventually pay off.