Sony’s PlayStation 5 is becoming harder to find than toilet paper. It seems that, in the middle of a pandemic, consumers have been snatching them up faster than any other gaming console in US history.
On March 12, Mat Piscatella, an analyst for the NPD Group – a market research company – tweeted the gaming industry’s current statistics. According to the NPD Group’s report, not only has no hardware platform ever been sold as fast as PS5, but it’s also right behind Nintendo Switch when it comes to unit and dollar sales in February 2021.
Some might think that COVID-19 would’ve stifled the sales of non-essential products such as games and gaming consoles, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A survey conducted in March 2020 revealed that there had been a significant increase in the time gamers spent playing video games during the quarantine. Therefore, it makes sense that their need for new content and appropriate equipment has grown as well.
Unfortunately, PS5 restocks are exceptionally rare these days, and even when the consoles do hit the shelves of online retailers, scalpers are quick to scoop them all up. That has led to PS5 being more than doubled in price on consumer-to-consumer sales websites. You might have seen a PlayStation 5 with a disc drive retailed at $499.99, but its street price can exceed $1,200.
The problem is that, despite the outrageous sums that some individuals are charging for the platform, there are still people willing to pay them to get their hands on Sony’s latest invention as soon as possible. What’s even more concerning is that retailers are hardly showing any intention of attempting to remedy the issue.
Everyday gamers that don’t have the benefit of insider tips have had to turn to their peers for assistance. Knowing that, some players have transformed their private social media accounts into PS5 restock trackers to help their comrades.
It’s hard to tell how much longer the craze will last and when the platform will be readily available in stores, seeing as the pandemic has made relying on past experiences almost impossible. On the bright side, the commotion and hype have provided at least some people with a welcome distraction from the muddle the world is in right now.