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This is madness: Best Buy PS5 restock requires a $200 membership

an image showing a PS5 restock
(Image credit: Future)

Yesterday Best Buy held its latest PS5 restock, but this one came with a pretty significant catch. The console was only available to Totaltech members, which might have been permissible if an annual membership didn’t cost an eyewatering $200.

For context, Best Buy launched its Totaltech membership program earlier this month. It gives customers around-the-clock tech support, up to 24 months of product protection on most Best Buy purchases, free delivery, and a few other benefits. This drop was the first time the retailer gated a PS5 restock behind a paywall — and it sucks. 

It’s likely that Best Buy was hoping to use the allure of a PS5 restock in order entice people to sign up for its new membership scheme. But the move has not been well received by gamers still trying to get hold of a PS5 console. 

Best Buy website showing a Totaltech exclusive PS5 restock

(Image credit: Best Buy)

A Reddit thread about the restock has attracted more than 100 comments, almost all of them calling out the retailer for this gated drop. One user described the restock as “basically Best Buy finding a way to scalp” and another called it a “garbage event.” 

Of course, buying a PS5 on the resale market will likely cost you an extra $200 anyway, and that’s without also getting the benefits of a Totaltech membership. So, if you’re a regular Best Buy shopper this could in fact be a good deal. Although, the average resale price of the PS5 is quickly dropping, so this may not be the case for long.  

And regardless, there's a big old whiff of Best Buy using the PS5 stock shortages as a cynical way of promoting it's own service. Sure, do that for certain products, but not those that people are still desperate to get nearly a year after the PS5's release; there's making a profit and then there's profiteering. 

Best Buy is certainly not the first retailer to hold a PS5 restock exclusively for members of a premium rewards program, but what makes this drop so egregious is the cost of a Totaltech subscription. GameStop offers early access to next-gen console restocks through its PowerUp Reward Pro membership, but that costs a mere $15 annually.

Amazon has also experimented with offering Prime members priority access to PS5 restocks, but Prime costs a more reasonable $12.99 a month. Plus, Prime comes with a host of other benefits including access to the popular Prime Video and Prime Music streaming services, which made it worth having even before the PS5 restock perk was introduced.

Despite the backlash, the PS5 has once again sold out at Best Buy. Therefore the possibility of Best Buy holding further Totaltech-exclusive drops seems high. Make sure to bookmark our PS5 restock hub, and we’ll let you know when Best Buy or any other major retailer has stock of the console.

PS5 restock tracker — stores to check

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.