Unless Sony significantly increases availability ‘over the next few days,’ it’s going to become a scalper’s paradise
Rumor mill: Despite Sony’s claims that PlayStation 5 production is on track and that fears of shortages are unfounded, we are already seeing evidence that this is not the case. The problem may be even more pronounced for those seeking the cheaper digital version.
Last week, retailers sold out of their pre-order allotments in less than 24 hours, with some believing they won’t get any more before launch day. This week, Amazon notified customers with PS5 pre-orders that they might not even get their console on launch day. The situation might even be compounded for those wishing to get their hands on the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.
Ars Technica reports that initial unit allotments were light on the cheaper console. An assessment of inventory samples from several GameStop stores in the US shows that the disc-drive-free units only made up for a small fraction—less than one-quarter—of the systems available.
For example, GameStop in Pittsburg had 15 units up for grabs, but only two were the digital version. Likewise, in Texas, the Dallas and Austin stores had a combined 50 PS5 pre-orders available, but just 14 were the Digital Edition. Of the nine US GameStops sampled, the more affordable console only accounted for about 24 percent of the stock.
An anonymous source seemed to confirm that the shortfalls are not isolated to the United States. An insider with GameStop Canada said that it got an allotment of 22,000 units and only 3,000 (13 percent) were PS5 Digital Editions.
Take this report with a grain of salt. It is by no means an official or scientific survey and only looked at the inventories of a handful of GameStop stores. Sony and GameStop have also not commented in an official capacity, so treat it as a rumor for now. However, the consistency between the initial pre-order allocations seems to indicate that there are certainly fewer digital consoles than the standard available. This ratio could change over the next few days or more.
On Monday, Sony tweeted an apology for the pre-order mess and said it would be releasing more PS5 consoles in the coming days and “through the end of the year.” We’ll have to see if these additional shipments level out the standard/digital proportions. If not, scalpers could make Sony’s more affordable option the most expensive.