PS5 restock disaster expected to get even worse — here's why

PS5 restock
(Image credit: Future)

Since its launch on November 10 in the U.S. the PS5 has been very hard to buy. And even six months later various component and supply chain issues, coupled with vast demand, means finding a PS5 restock is a serious challenge requiring a mix of perseverance, luck and being very quick to react to stock tips. 

And the situation isn’t getting any easier. Our sibling site TechRadar, who has PS5 and Xbox Series X stock tracker extraordinaire Matt Swider has dusted down it’s crystal ball and, with some analysis, has concluded that finding where to buy a PS5 will be even more difficult in the immediate future.  

TechRadar reported there are a bunch of reasons for this. One of the primary drivers will be that PS5 production won’t ramp up until 2022. That’s hardly surprising given the disruption the coronavirus pandemic has had on chip production, as well as other factors, meaning there's been a lack of semiconductors required for the new games consoles, as well as Nvidia and AMD’s latest graphics cards and other devices as well

In effect, the PS5 in in a perfect storm of demand from console and PC gamers, further exacerbated by people working from home and looking for entertainment under lockdown. This all means chip suppliers can’t crank out semiconductors fast enough to keep up with a demand that’s not looking likely to ease off any time soon. 

Even without this shortage, TechRadar noted that more exclusive games are coming to the PS5 this year, further increasing its desirability of the console. We’ve already seen the likes of Returnal and what the PS5 can do, and with Deathloop and Horizon Forbidden West incoming, the PS5 is likely going to be the most in-demand console for another 12 months at least. 

Then we have the holiday season. TechRadar observed that over the past four holiday seasons demand for the Nintendo Switch has surged, especially around sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and it forecasts this will be the same for the PS5. 

We’ve seen the same with the Switch — check out our where to buy Nintendo Switch online article if you’re after the excellent hybrid console — and we’d suggest TechRadar’s prediction here is on the money.

Essentially, if you're not managed to get a PS5, then the rigors of finding Sony's console in stock will be unavoidable for some time to come. The same is unfortunately likely for the Xbox Series X, which while not as rampantly popular as the PS5, is still very tricky to buy — check out our Xbox Series X restock article for help. 

How to find a PS5 restock 

PS5 restock

(Image credit: Future)

So finding a PS5 might not look that promising for the next year or so, but there are ways for you to improve your odds. We have some essential PS5 restock tips on how to secure a PS5 and a breakdown of how to get the PS5 at some of the major retailers

If you’re in Britain, then check out our U.K. PS5 restock tracker. We’ve also pulled together a collection of alternative PS5 and Xbox Series X retailers to flag the places to check when the major shops are sold out. 

Our very own Richard Priday also figured out how to get a PS5 without playing the annoying restock game, but that takes a bit of luck. 

However, if all this sounds a bit too stressful then our gaming editor Marshall Honorof suggests that you embrace the PS5 and Xbox Series X shortage and use it as a means to get through a backlog of other stellar games from the previous generation of consoles or cross-platform titles, such as Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are still rather capable consoles that can do a solid job with such games. 

While the PS5 stock disaster might not be going away any time soon, you still have alternatives. Heck, you could even delve into the world of virtual reality with one of our picks for the best VR headset. And if you do opt to wait out the console shortage disasters, then by the time the PS5 and Xbox Series X are easier to buy, they should also have much stronger libraries of games, which could make the wait worth it

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.