How to Find a PlayStation 5: Tips, Retailers, Stock Alerts

Sony’s latest console is more than a year old, but both models of the PlayStation 5 have repeatedly sold out. Supply chain issues have also contributed to a console shortage that has left countless would-be customers in the cold. Scalpers armed with bots are scooping up new stock in seconds as retailers struggle to weed them out and give genuine buyers a chance. If you’ve been trying and failing to get your hands on one, you’re not alone, but don’t lose heart.

We’ve pooled our advice here on which model you should buy, whether you need to upgrade now, and where to buy one. We’ve also added some tips to help you get your very own PS5.

Once you have secured your console, check out our guides to the Best PS5 Accessories and Best PS5 Games, and our PS5 Tips.

Updated May 2022: We added advice for scoring a console on Amazon, info on restock events for subscribers at GameStop, Best Buy, and Walmart, and more tips.

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Which Model Should You Pick?

There are only two models of the PlayStation 5. The standard version costs $500, while the Digital Edition is $400. The former has a disc drive for physical game discs and can also play 4K Blu-rays. The Digital Edition omits the disc drive, so you will have to download all your games. That’s the only difference.

While that $100 savings may sound tempting, there are compelling reasons to buy the disc drive PS5. Once games have been out for a while, the disc version is usually cheaper. Plus, you can play your old PS4 discs on the new console, and you can resell PS5 game discs, which you can’t do with digital versions. That’s all before you consider the ability to play Ultra HD Blu-rays.

Should You Upgrade?

The lack of PlayStation 5 must-have exclusive games may give you pause. Most of the top titles that will land over the next few months are likely to have PS4 versions available. Don’t feel like you’ll miss out on games if you’re perfectly happy with your existing PS4.

On the other hand, the PS5 improves on the PS4 in many significant ways, and you can get a deeper flavor of what it has to offer in our PS5 review. If you don’t already own a PlayStation 4, then the PlayStation Plus subscription for the PS5, which gives you access to a library of the top PS4 games like Fallout 4 and God of War as a part of your PS Plus membership, is a necessity.

Where to Buy the PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 5.

Photograph: Sony

You can buy the PlayStation 5 directly from Sony or from a range of major retailers. We don’t usually know exactly when new stock will appear, but rest assured there are more consoles on the way. Here are some of the main places to keep an eye on:

Register With Sony

Sony periodically lets “a limited number” of US customers register for the chance to buy a console. To be considered, you must register to buy directly at the PlayStation website and sign in with your PlayStation Network account. 

According to Sony’s FAQs, “Selection is based on previous interests and PlayStation activities,” though it’s not clear what this means. Factors might include how long you’ve had an account, what subscriptions you have, and perhaps even the number of games you own. Whatever the criteria, invitations for those selected went out twice a week over the holidays. 

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