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Wishing for a PS5? Here's how to get one

Want to purchase a PlayStation 5 in time for Christmas? Here's how to buy the coveted gaming console from Sony.
Written by Sherin Shibu, Contributor
PS5 against a blue background.

The PlayStation 5 is always in demand and seemingly always sold out. It gives an immersive, fast, 3D-audio gaming experience compatible with some top-notch PS5 games. ZDNET's Josh Slate named the PS5 the best game console for a reason, citing its 4K graphics and unbeatable DualSense controller. 

It may seem impossible to get your hands on one, but don't despair: You can purchase one with some planning and perseverance. 

Because of the scarcity, scalpers and scams continue to be a danger to watch out for. We don't recommend paying inflated prices or purchasing from unknown third-party sellers (for example, watch for the distinction between products sold directly by Amazon versus offers by third parties using its platform). If you'd like to go directly to the supplier, Sony still has PS5s available for purchase. Better yet, the company promises delivery by Christmas Eve if you order by Dec. 14 at 11 am PT.

Even though the console on its own was out of stock at the time of this writing, the God of War Ragnarok bundles, which include a console or a digital edition version with a game, are still up for grabs for anyone with a Sony account. (Update: Currently only the digital edition bundle is available.) Making an account is free and takes minutes. The console is periodically available for purchase on an invitation-only basis.

In general, if you see it's out of stock, it's worth trying again both immediately and later. Many sites post restock trackers with rumors and strategies for guessing when the console is likely to appear in specific stores. If you go that route, make sure to create accounts and save your payment information on the major retail sites in advance, so that you won't lose your chance to buy an in-stock PS5 while you're looking for your credit card. 

Also: The hottest PS5 games to play right now

How to buy a PS5 from Sony

1. Make an account with Sony

Registering with Sony is essential to purchasing a console straight from the site.

Sony sign in page for PS5

2. Verify your account

You should get an email from Sony asking you to click the Verify Now button. You must verify your account in order to use all of the services associated with it.

Sony verify page

3. Sign in to the portal and view the products you can still buy

You can register to be invited to preorder the PS VR2. This is something that Sony has done in the past with the PS5, where you register and then potentially receive an invitation to order the product within a certain time frame on a certain day. For reference, I registered to order a PS5 in late July and I was invited to order one in late September. 

Availability fluctuates: Right now, it looks like the $500 PS5 console is out of stock, but the Ragnarok bundle, which includes the console plus the God of War Ragnarok game, is still available at a higher price of $560. I could add the bundle to my cart and potentially check out on the spot. I could also purchase the digital edition instead for $100 less, and an extra wireless controller for $75. (Update: The console bundle is currently out of stock, but the digital edition is still available.)

As I mentioned above, Sony is offering delivery at no extra cost, and delivery by Christmas Eve if you order by Dec. 14 at 11 am PT. 

Also: PS5 vs Xbox Series X vs Series S vs Switch OLED 

PS5 console and games with add buttons below them


Is it possible to buy a PS5 in store?

Yes; although it's often sold out at the major retailers, there are opportunities to buy one. For example, GameStop has consoles listed as "Pick up in store," which means that its stores sometimes have them in stock. (Currently both God of War: Ragnarok bundles are listed as available at some GameStop stores.)  

Is there a way to get early access when PS5s are in stock?

Yes; Amazon, GameStop, and Walmart are among the retailers that offer early access programs. These usually cost money and have other benefits. (Amazon's request an invite program doesn't require Amazon Prime.)

Why is it so hard to buy a PS5?

The short answer is that demand far exceeds how quickly Sony is able to manufacture the product. The chips that power the PS5 have been affected by global supply shortages. Sony has already sold 13 million PlayStation 5s since launching the product two years ago, making this its best-selling console.  

Will the PS5 ever be easily available?

The shortage issues are projected to clear up in the new year. In the meantime, if you're willing to buy a package that includes a game, you can may be able to get one from a physical store or directly from Sony -- and just in time for the holidays.  

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