The PS5 just beat Xbox Series X — and toilet paper

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The oddities of 2020 keep coming, with the latest one being news that the PS5 is more sought-after than the Xbox Series X and lots of other essentials, including toilet paper. 

According to Google's rundown of the biggest search terms of the year, Sony's new console is proving to be a more popular search term than the basic everyday products that people rushed out to buy and horde as the coronavirus epidemic turned into a global pandemic. Turns out concerns over running out of toilet paper pale in comparison to finding where to buy a PS5

In general, it’s been something of a turbulent year for purchasing. The coronavirus pandemic made people panic and start hoarding supplies that (they thought) might run out. Those included face masks, hand sanitizers and toilet paper.

It’s pretty daft that toilet paper is what people immediately jumped to, especially given there was no major reason that supplies would run out. But confusion and panic around the spread COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns to curtail it, saw a rise in people googling "where to buy toilet paper."  

Where to buy PS5

(Image credit: Google)

But as people got used to life under a global pandemic, that search — which is the second most googled thing in 2020 — was overtaken by "where to buy PS5" in the U.S. That's not hugely surprising given it's easier to find a needle in a haystack than it is to get hold of Sony's new console. 

After the PS5 and toilet paper where to buy searches, where to buy face masks, where to buy Xbox Series X, and where to buy hand sanitizer followed in that order.

Considering how difficult it’s been to buy a next-gen console, it’s hardly a surprise that people are actively googling where they can get one. Demand for the PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S has been high, and supply hasn’t been able to keep up. it doesn’t help that scalpers keep buying up consoles so they can make a profit. 

This is also further proof that the PS5 is more popular than the Xbox Series X. Or at least it is in terms of people who are looking where they can buy one.

Google’s list also reveals a lot about the year in search here in the U.S. The biggest news event was, naturally, the election results, though the stimulus check and coronavirus also dominated in several categories.

As for the lighter categories, Google proves Tiger King reigns supreme once again as the most-searched for TV show, while Best Picture winner Parasite and indie hit Among Us take the top spot for movies and games. There’s plenty of weird searches in there, too, with people struggling to understand what “WAP” means, a lot of searches for the Ice Age baby, and why chainsaws were invented.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.