PS5 bundles could be the antidote to bots and scalpers — here's how

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Finding a retailer with the PS5 in stock has been a thankless task for many PlayStation fans, with scalpers and bots snapping up Sony’s new games console as soon as it comes back in stock. But it’s looking like there could be a solution to that nasty problem. 

Not only does it look like PS5 stock is building up again, but restocks seem to be lasting a little longer. And that could be due to the PS5 being sold as part of bundles. 

TechRadar reported that GameSpot had more PS5 stock on January 7, and the console remained in stock for a good 15 minutes. That might not sound like a long time, but given that PS5 stock was selling out in mere moments in November and December last year, 15 minutes is a huge amount of time. 

Our colleagues over at TechRadar posit that by selling the PS5 in bundles, which include games and accessories, the consoles don’t get targeted by the bots that scalpers use to buy up PS5s to sell later on at extortionate prices. Apparently, bots and resellers don't target bundles, as selling games and accessories that aren’t in high demand is tricky to do at a profit. 

As such, a $729.99 PS5 bundle - made up of the console, a pair of DualSense controllers, Demon's Souls, Spider-Man: Miles Morales and a $20 gift card - stayed in stock for a lot longer than a PS5 on its own. 

Other than the console, the games and accessories are all readily available at normal retail prices. So scalpers would make a profit only on the console itself rather than the rest of the bundle. 

We’ve seen a similar situation with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. U.K  retailer Game had Xbox Series X bundles for pre-order last year that seemed to remain available for longer than just the console on its own. And currently, there are pre-orders available for Xbox Series S bundles at Game

So all this means there could be light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to securing a PS5 or Xbox Series X this year. Of course, that’s dependent on retailers offering more bundles than just standalone consoles.

And it does mean that you have to pay more overall to get your hands on a new gaming machine. However, bundles can offer decent value if you get one with games that you fancy playing. 

In the meantime, check out our where to buy PS5 and where to buy Xbox Series X articles to get the latest on stock updates and retailers that are selling the consoles.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.