PS5 restock disaster: Newegg lottery could be the answer

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you’ve been struggling to find where to buy the PS5, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, other in-demand tech products like the Xbox Series X, you might be able to get lucky with Newegg’s new lottery system.

Promising an alternative to the current situation of restocks launching and immediately selling out, Newegg Shuffle instead opens in 3-hour windows where hopeful buyers can select the product or products they want from a list. After the window ends, Newegg selects the “winners” at random, and then sends them an email and/or Newegg app notification with a link to buy their items within a 2-hour time limit.

There isn’t a Shuffle open at the time of writing, but previous windows have included most or all of the current big-ticket products that are suffering from stock shortages, excessive demand or both. That includes the PS5, the Geforce RTX 3080 graphics card, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and the Ryxen 7 5800X. PC components initially only seemed to be available in bundles with a compatible motherboard, but Newegg told PCMag that future Shuffles will make them available standalone.

In truth, this lottery system doesn’t fix one of the biggest underlying problems with stock shortages: the lack of supply. So you probably shouldn’t expect it to be the miracle solution for your PS5 restock woes. Still, unlike the first-come, first-served approach, it is a major improvement in that it’s fair to everyone.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Scalpers and their bots have no advantage in each Shuffle, as you don’t need to be first in line to take part. You can mark down your desired products at any time within the 3-hour window, and your opportunity to actually buy the goods are dependent on pure chance. Those who use bots to automatically nab available stock for reselling, before ordinary consumers can even type their card details in, can’t jump to the front of the line this way.

The main downside right now is a lack of clarity on when new Shuffles will take place. Newegg says it wants to fine-tune the system before starting another round, and the Shuffle page on Newegg’s site currently redirects to a login page instead of the countdown timer that has previously appeared.

Even so, this is definitely worth keeping an eye on if you’ve had trouble getting hold of the PS5, GeForce RTX 30-series cards or AMD Ryzen 5000 processors.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.