Skip to main content

Here's why you can't find a PS5 deal this Christmas (and how to get one)

Sony PlayStation 5
(Image credit: Future)

Black Friday is done for another year. And if you didn't managed to buy that PS5 you've been after, fear not, you still have December to secure the Christmas present of your dreams. But will there be any PS5 stock?

Sony's next-gen console has been in short supply since launching over a year ago, to the point that simply spotting a retailer revealing a PS5 restock is something of a deal in itself.

The good news? There might be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. We saw an uplift in stock during Black Friday with consoles, bundles, games and accessories all up for grabs but, inevitably, these were all snapped up in seconds. So what’s the secret to bagging a PS5 during the December restocks (if they should happen)? And why is PS5 stock in such short supply?

There’s little doubt that global chip shortages, shipping delays and bots (which snap-up any stock) have made it a struggle for the average gamer to buy a PS5 console this year. There’s even a conspiracy theory that Sony deliberately squeezes supply to give the PS5 an aura of ‘exclusivity’. Hmmm. But perhaps the biggest real culprit is COVID-19.

With half the world plunged into lockdown, and millions asked to work from home, demand for all games consoles – and especially Sony’s first new PlayStation for seven years – sky-rocketed. 

When the first wave of PS5 stock was released on 12th November 2020, it sold out within days. As did the next batch, and the next, and the next... As the ongoing pandemic stretched Sony’s manufacturing and supply capacity to breaking point, more and more gamers were left PS5-less.

Sony PlayStation 5 console: View latest stock at Amazon

Sony PlayStation 5 console: View latest stock at Amazon
The PS5 is here and it offers next-gen gaming, 3D audio and an innovative DualSense controller that helps immerse you in the action. The standard PS5 plays 4K Blu-ray discs but there's also the option of the cheaper (disc-less) PS5 Digital Edition.

UK: PS Plus (12 months) £50

UK: PS Plus (12 months) £50 £33 at Amazon (save £17)
US: PS Plus (12 months) $60 $40 at Amazon (save $20)
Sign up to PlayStation Plus and enjoy online multiplayer gaming plus free PS4/PS5 games each month. The PlayStation Plus free games lineup has included brand new releases and some stone-cold classics.

In May 2021, Sony privately warned analysts that PlayStation 5 shortages would continue until 2022: "I don’t think demand is calming down this year and even if we secure a lot more devices and produce many more units of the PlayStation 5 next year, our supply wouldn’t be able to catch up with demand," said a gloomy Hiroki Totoki, the company's Chief Financial Officer.

And just a few weeks ago, Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan addressed “historic demand” for the PS5, and admitted that “inventory constraints remain a source of frustration for our customers”. 

He also assured customers that Sony is "laser-focussed" on shipping as many console units as possible, but, truth is, the company expects to produce one million fewer consoles – 15 million, rather than 16 million – in the financial year ending March 2022.

In short, getting hold of a PS5 isn't getting any easier. But that's not to say it can't be done. You'll need to keep an eye on social media (@PS5StockAlert is one of the most reliable places to find PS5 stock tips). Combine good intel with the secrets below, and you should be able to scoop Sony’s 4K console in the Christmas sales.

1. Sign up and sign in
Open a free account with all the major PS5 retailers (Amazon, Argos, Walmart, Best Buy, Box, Smyths Toys, PlayStation Direct, Game, GameStop, etc) and sign in before PS5 stock drops. This will make for a faster checkout process - otherwise you can lose your console before you checkout.

2. Fill your basket
Add the PS5 of your choice to your shopping basket in advance. That way, it’s there when stock drops. With demand set to explode this holiday season, every second counts.

3. Download the app
Most retailers have iOS/Android phone apps. And since apps tend to be more stable than websites, they're less prone to crashing when PS5 stock goes live. The Amazon app is a must. Those in the UK should also download the Argos app.

4. Join a loyalty program
In the UK/US, Amazon Prime members get first crack at any PS5 stock. So if you're not a Prime member, you're at a huge disadvantage. (Here a 30-day free Prime trial if you need it.) PS5 hunters in the States should also consider joining Walmart Plus.

In all honesty, there isn’t ‘one thing’ you can do to get a PS5 – you have to do everything, because in our experience, persistence eventually pays off. Need some inspiration? Just take a look at some of the best PS5 deals we’ve spotted, including 50% off some of the biggest PS5 titles and cheap PlayStation Plus prices.

MORE:

The best gaming TVs for PS5

Today's best PlayStation Plus deals

Tom has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Men's Health, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile tech, electric cars and video streaming.