PS5 Restock Tracker: Score a console on Thursday, April 21

It was a great week for PS5 supplemented so far and, according to The Shortcut’s Matt Swider, that trend will continue into the weekend. The next big PS5 addition to GameStop is reportedly coming on Saturday, April 23, when stores open. Since there’s no published list of which venues will have a restock, now’s a good time to call your local store and ask (politely) if they’re participating this weekend. This PS5 addition is expected to offer multiple bundle prices for the two different versions of the consoles, which probably means there will be plenty for sale in the stores that have stock.

If you don’t want to pay for a bundle to get your PS5, it’s best to accept a higher price tag for the console via StockX or eBay. Here are some of our tips, tricks, and advice to help you hold onto your PS5:

  • If you see someone on Twitter offering to sell you a console, it’s almost certainly a scam. Avoid these people.
  • If applicable, use an app to complete a purchase instead of a browser. Not only are apps often faster than mobile browsers, but it’s also easy to use an app and a browser at the same time if you’re trying to buy on multiple computers.
  • PS5 refills are much more common in the afternoon and evening than in the morning. The chances of an unscheduled restock are usually dramatically higher after 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET), so if you’re wondering when to check, that’s usually the best time to start.
  • PS5 restocks almost never happen on weekends.
  • When a supply starts and you immediately see “Out of stock” on the screen, do not give up† Refresh the screen a few times and keep trying. Some retailers are releasing the consoles in waves to prevent bots from getting them all.
  • Make sure you have created and logged in an account for all the retailers you will be shopping at. Speaking from personal experience, it’s devastating to get a console in your cart and then miss it because you had to waste precious seconds entering your payment and shipping information.

In recent times, the largest retailers have made changes to the checkout process to provide peace of mind and prevent bots from buying all consoles and selling them for more elsewhere. The most recent change to the PS5 restock game is paid access — that means once you buy a subscription, you’ll hear about the next PS5 restock before anyone else or exclusively for your club.

Our top tips for getting a console

With this new subscription system rolling out in some cases across GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, and even Amazon, it’s important to point out that getting a console through these services is still not guaranteed. The queue fills up quickly and consoles only stay in stock for a few minutes in most cases. Every time a PS5 replenishment happens, social media fills with people describing how they experienced problems in the process and how the consoles eventually disappeared altogether.

It’s unreasonable to sign up and pay for every service, but that’s where we can help. We’re constantly tracking the best way for you to get your hands on a PS5. And we’ll explain below what you can do to increase your chances before the buy button lights up.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Why is the PS5 so hard to find?

There are three main reasons why you are still struggling to get a PS5. The first is the most obvious: the system is very popular. Sony says the PS5 is the best-selling console, having sold more than 13 million units since launch.

The second reason is the current chip shortage that affects most electronics in the world. Sony said it has amassed enough chips to meet its fiscal year target of 14.8 million consoles.

As for the last reason, it comes down to bots. Resellers use software to buy a huge number of PS5s at once, leaving only a few for real people. Retailers have added several bot protections while restocking the PS5, but these restrictions are only hindering resellers.

Where has the PS5 been available recently?

We keep track of every PS5 release and here’s a list of the most likely places you’ll find them, and when the PS5 was last available there.

Which early access service do I have to pay for?

Many companies now limit access to a PS5 to a subscription, but each is a little different. Here’s the full rundown of how each works.

  • Amazon Prime: This one is pretty simple. In many cases, the only way to buy a PS5 from Amazon is by being a Prime subscriber or by signing up for the Treasure Truck text service. There’s no extra cost outside of the standard Prime subscription, but you probably won’t be able to access the PS5 add-on unless you’re subscribed.
  • GameStop PowerUp Rewards Pro: Many GameStop PS5 add-ons start an hour early for you if you’ve signed up for this rewards program. This works best when GameStop announces the restock in advance or email its subscribers to let them know that a restock is coming. This subscription service costs $15 per year and includes a ton of additional benefits.
  • Walmart Plus: This service was built by Walmart to provide early access during sales events, and that includes a PS5 add-on. The rules for this early access vary; in some cases, PS5 add-ons may be restricted entirely to subscribers or may be early access from 1 to 4 hours before the general population has access. Walmart charges $13 per month or $98 per year for this service. There is currently a 15-day free trial available if you’re not sure if it’s for you, but you only get early access if you pay for that first month.
  • Best Buy Totaltech: If you want dedicated access to the Geek Squad for installations and technical support, as well as warranty purchase extensions, this is the service for you. If you only want this for early access to a PS5 add-on, Best Buy will charge you $200 a year, which is a lot. Best Buy occasionally limits access to a PS5 supplement to Totaltech subscribers only, but usually those supplements are made available to the public later.

Right now, Walmart Plus is the service that seems most useful to most people. There are currently more restocks at Walmart than most other places, and that subscription can greatly increase your chances of getting a console. You will still have to be quick and accept that you may not get the console on the first try.

How do I increase my chances of getting a PS5?

Major retailers like Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target, and Best Buy usually don’t give much thought to restocking. Sometimes refills are made in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and sometimes even in the middle of the night. Here are some tips to help you make the leap over the competition.

First tip: don’t wait until you see a PS5 stock drop warning. Check links at major retailers daily or even multiple times a day for stock updates. (We’ve listed all of the links below.) If you happen to stumble upon a PS5 availability, go all in with as many browsers and devices as possible. For example, on a desktop, open the retailer’s page in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Then do the same on your phone and tablet. The more devices and browsers, the better. It’s like lottery tickets: the more you have, the better your chances of winning.

Second tip: Create accounts with the various retailers and make sure you are already logged in if you are going to try to get a PS5. Make sure all your shipping, billing and payment information is up to date on whatever device you can buy, be it a laptop, desktop or phone. This makes checking out a lot faster, which is crucial because retailers’ sites quickly crash, causing people to lose their chance of a PS5.

Third tip: keep coming back with this post and follow CNET and Oscar Gonzalez on Twitter for updates.

Where is it safe to buy a PS5 if I’m okay with paying extra?

If you’re cracking up and thinking about buying a PS5 now (and we know the pressure is dropping in the coming months with the number of major PS5 games), you can, but at the price of a hefty markup on sites like eBay. or StockX. For example, on eBay, we’ve seen PS5 units priced above $1,000, although prices have slowly fallen to around $700.

Where to buy a PS5

Currently one of the best places to buy a PS5, but keep in mind that the company often makes the consoles available to Walmart Plus subscribers first.

You can find a PS5 supplement at Best Buy more often than most places, although it does occasionally require a Totaltech subscription if you want to get there early.

You’ll usually find the standard edition available more often than the digital edition at Target, but it’s a solid place to check for stock.

Replenishing supplies is fast at GameStop, and if you’re a PowerUp Rewards Pro subscriber, you can occasionally access the console an hour ahead of everyone else.

You usually need to have a Prime membership to access a PS5 add-on from Amazon, but not always. And if you sign up for the Treasure Truck program, you’ll receive a text message when a PS5 is available for delivery.

If you want to buy a console directly from Sony, click this link and register to be queued. When you get an email inviting you to buy the console, it’s a fairly stress-free checkout, followed by a day or two of waiting for shipment.

PS5 refills don’t happen very often at Newegg, but they do happen and it’s a good idea to check here as a lot of other people don’t think of doing this.

You won’t pay the standard price for your PS5 when you buy it here (meaning you’ll pay a lot more), but you’ll definitely get it to check out without much hassle.

If all else fails, if you absolutely must get the console now, no matter the price, the folks at StockX will at least protect you from being scammed by someone who never intended to give you a console.

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More PlayStation 5 Coverage

This story will be updated regularly with the latest PS5 stock news.

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