I just gave up on PS5 restocks — and I feel fine

I just gave up on PS5 restocks — and I feel fine
(Image credit: Sony)

I'd like a PS5. Not just because it would make my current games run faster, and because I'm tired of waiting, but because it would be helpful for my job writing about tech.

But somewhere between the console launch in November 2020 and today, I stopped trying to buy it, even when flashes of available stock would show up on social media.

I knew I'd changed my point of view when a friend brandished a screenshot of their successful purchase in a Discord chat. They'd done it. They'd beaten the PS5 Scarcity Monster, the most difficult boss outside of Demon's Souls.

But I didn't feel anything, not even jealousy. That was when I realized I'd stopped caring about the PS5.

1. Too much time wasted

I'm not just saying this because my bosses will read this, but it's true. One of the biggest reasons why I've missed out on getting a PS5 was because I was too busy working, watching TV or doing something else. To stay aware of "PS5-on-sale" news, which pops up as randomly as a spam call throughout the day, you need to be very dialed in.

(Image credit: Sony)

You need to check specific Twitter accounts such as Wario64, or PS5stockalerts often. If you're really dedicated, you can enable notifications for all of the tweets posted to those accounts. Or, as I did at one point, make a TweetDeck column for them. But then you soon realize that even these specialized accounts don't have enough return on investment. 

And even if you're lucky to see a notification at just the right time? Quantities are so scarce that your odds of success are still slim to none.

Wario64 does a lot more than just announce if PlayStation Direct has new PS5s for sale, and I don't need my phone to chime every time there's news in the wild world of gaming. And even PS5stockalerts puts out more tweets than I found valuable, because I don't need to know about PS5 availability in Canada, or at the members-only Sam's Club. And when I do see PS5-related items for sale, it's usually just the headset, media remote or controller charging station. 

Eventually, I realized I'd rather be doing anything else.

2. Pricey bundles aren't worth it

Then, I started seeing more bundles than standalone consoles. The Atlanta-based Antonline, which I'd never heard of before this, is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to taking consoles people want, and wrapping them up in unnecessary stuff.

(Image credit: Sony)

Take, for example the Xbox Series X bundle at Antonline, which has an extra Elite Series 2 controller, Forza Horizon 4 and three months of Game Pass Ultimate. No offense to people who prefer that controller, enjoy racing games or subscribe to Game Pass, but the Xbox Series X is expensive enough at $500.

Now you're gonna tell me I need to spend more than 150% of the original price — this bundle costs $759 — to get an Xbox Series X? 

No, thank you. It's hard to make a compelling bundle. 

3. PS5 exclusives still don't make me excited

Astro's Playroom and Demon's Souls, the two games you can play only on PS5 (and not, for example, the PS4 I already own) don't really do it for me. Astro's Playroom, which shows off the PS5 DualSense controller in some cool and meta ways, sounds like a hollow version of a game I'm already hooked on: Ring Fit Adventure. 

(Image credit: Sony)

Nintendo's fitness-focused game is also obsessed with its own controls, as it uses the two Joy-Con controllers to push you to your workout limits. Astro's Playroom, a showcase for how the DualSense has a lot of tricks up its sleeve, sounds worse. There's not as much for me to gain by learning about the DualSense's force feedback. 

I'll wait for the perks of the DualSense to show themselves in games. Like how my colleague Marshall Honorof enjoyed the perks of the DualSense while playing Demon's Souls.

I'm also not the kind who has ever enjoyed the hyper-difficult dungeon-crawling gameplay in titles such as Demon's Souls. So, I will wait. Maybe God of War 2: Ragnarok will be that game for me — except maybe that game will still be playable on the PS4.

4. I'm OK with waiting out early glitches

While the PS5 has yet to see a serious Red Ring of Death-esque issue, the potential for such a malfunction is one of the reasons I've never felt the need to have a PS5 in its infancy. These issues, when they crop up, tend to penalize early adopters. 

(Image credit: Sony)

In fact, we found news of an Xbox Series X controller disconnecting glitch that only started making headlines in January, months after the console's release.

While many of these potential bugs could be fixed with a firmware update, I'd dread the outcome of winding up with a hardware issue. 

5. Working through my backlog

To paraphrase that one meme, "there are already PlayStation games at home." Final Fantasy VII Remake was a game that didn't get its clutches in me the first time around. But when I popped it back in right before the new year, I realized that it now had my number — so much so, that I'm annoyed I didn't lobby harder for it in our Games of the Year 2020 debate.

(Image credit: Sony)

The PS4 isn't dead for people who are caught up with their gaming, either. New PS4 games are still coming out. From the modern Hitman 3 to the remastered Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, the PS4 is still being treated like a member of the family that you haven't disowned. It still gets a seat at the table. 

While many gamers see the PS4 as yesterday's news, I can't see it as a "last-gen console," as the CD Projekt Red co-founders did when they tried to save face after the Cyberpunk 2077 debacle. When the PS5 is this hard to get, and the PS4 is still kicking, I feel like Homer Simpson chasing that flying pig, saying, "it's still good; it's still good!" 

(I just need to make sure my PS4 doesn't fall into a dam. I'm pretty sure that much water would kill it.)

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • Timcredible
    Same here. I ended up going with the stadia to get cyberpunk, don't feel the need to get a ps5 now until the new horizon is out
  • djzyonseven
    Same here.
  • Domino86
    Same! You hit every single point of why I gave up too. It's just lost it's appeal through all of the difficulty in finding one. Scalpers have used bots to steal from the actual gamers like myself. Sony doesn't seem to care because they've already made their money selling to the distributors like Walmart. I read one article early on that said of the 240,000 units to hit the first American soil that something like only 60,000 of those units were actually being played! I can't imagine if you were a game developer what you would be thinking that for 2021 you've developed an incredible game like the new God Of War: Ragnarok that you'd even still be thinking to only release it to the new platform, like they did when it came out on PS4, if they don't release it for both they're going to lose all the appeal there in the graphics of the game and lots of money/fans. I don't know, I'm pretty chapped that here we are about to enter February and there's been no let up in sight from Sony as to how they're going to handle this for their demographic. For now I'm happy on my PS4 Pro, and don't plan to buy a PS5 until possibly Summer if it's let up after this Spring. First world problems, I know, but it's sad that the gaming entertainment has come to this for the real lovers who've been playing life long such as me and many others.
  • Crunchbot
    yeah. It’s just a thing. Been out for a month. You’ll get one. Meanwhile, in the rest of the world,..
  • SharpeGuy804
    I needed this article. I was one of those watching every tweet, looking at youtube videos, and it’s has led to disappointment after disappointment with trying to get a PS5. I am more mad at myself than anything spending a lot of time to get one. Now, I’m like forget it. Sony ain‘t concerned at all with adhering to demand. So, to hell with it. I’m good with my PS4 and Switch until I can walk into Best Buy and pick up one. Whether it’s this summer or next, I’m done trying to camp out online in hopes of getting one. And I’m not desperate at all to pay over and beyond the price in stores to put more money in a scalper‘s pocket. So, thank you for this article.