It's finally getting easier to score a PS5 restock — here's why

a photo of a PS5 representing a PS5 restock
(Image credit: Future)

Ever since the PS5 was released in November 2020, actually buying one has been a nightmare experience. Tracking PS5 restocks has become a necessity in order to score a console at retail price, and scalpers have taken full advantage of the stock shortages by selling consoles at an exorbitant markup.  

Throughout most of 2021 if you wanted to get hold of a next-gen PlayStation you needed to be extremely alert and also more than a little bit lucky. It’s been a pretty frustrating experience for many, and the situation went a full 12 months without improvement. 

However, as we enter a new year, there are small (but still significant) signs that things are starting to improve. I’ll say it quietly as not to tempt fate, but it’s starting to feel like the PS5 restock nightmare might be finally drawing to a close, for now at least. 

In the runup to the holiday season, we saw a significant amount of restocks with the likes of GameStop, Target, Best Buy, and Walmart all offering multiple opportunities to score a console. The days of major retailers holding a PS5 restock one every three or four weeks appear to be behind us. Currently, stock of the console is being replenished at a much quicker pace but this may only be temporary.

Sony PS5 on a table next to a TV

(Image credit: Future)

It’s not just that restocks are occurring more frequently, they are also lasting longer. For example, this week both Target and Best Buy held their first PS5 restocks of the year. Throughout 2021, these retailers would have sold out of consoles in mere minutes (we have observed restocks selling out in less than 5 minutes). However, during these most recent drops, it took roughly 45 minutes for both retailers to sell out of stock. That’s a clear improvement to the console's availability.  

We’ve been tracking PS5 restocks every day for more than a year and right now definitely seems like the easiest it’s been to secure a console since launch day. Of course, buying a PS5 isn’t yet as simple as visiting your retailer of choice and checking out when convenient, you do still need to patiently wait for a restock to actually occur first and be on the ball when one does happen.  

That’s where our PS5 restock hub can help. This comprehensive guide is updated daily with the latest updates and also contains all the retailer links you need. We can’t guarantee it’ll get you a console, but it’ll certainly alert you to restocks at major retailers as they happen. 

PS5 restock tracker — stores to check

Why is the PS5 becoming easier to buy? 

The above is based on our own observations, but it would certainly suggest that at least for now buying a PS5 is slightly less of a thankless task than it was six months ago. 

The ongoing chip shortage is still very much a problem and is likely still causing Sony production issues, so perhaps the reason that the PS5 is becoming easier to buy is simply that with each unit sold the competition pool becomes smaller and smaller. The PS5 had sold 14m units as of November 2021, that’s a sizeable group of people who no longer need to track restocks. 

It’s likely that the PS5 stock situation will continue to fluctuate. Right now we’re in a (relatively) stable period for stock with weekly restocks lasting longer than ever, but once we approach the release day of flagship games like Horizon Forbbiden West and God of War Ragnarok, not to mention the holiday sales 2022, the console will surely become harder to find once again. 

Unfortunately, we probably haven't seen the last of the PS5 restock nightmare quite yet, but for now, we're just enjoying the slightly improved availability of the coveted console while it lasts. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.