Join the pity party
If it were up to me, I would have gotten a PS5 on launch day. When it comes to the next console generation, it was never in question that I was going to get a PlayStation — my affinity for the brand goes back to when I was a kid growing up with a PS2, I love or look forward to so many of the Sony exclusive games, and I even worked at Naughty Dog for a while.
But eight months after its initial release, I still find myself devastatingly PS5-less. It’s only becoming more frustrating as time goes on, and I know I’m not the only one feeling disgruntled.
While I usually just chalk it up to being unlucky, there are a number of factors for why we haven’t been able to get our grubby little hands on a new console. For one, there’s a global chip shortage you may have heard about, which was caused by slowed manufacturing during the pandemic, as well as a large push to manufacture 5G smartphones beginning in 2020. Experts expect the shortage to last until the second quarter in 2022, which is business speak for a long ass time.
Then there are the scalpers. Those goddamn scalpers. You can’t see me, but I’m shaking my fist at them in protest. Sony’s CEO Jim Ryan recently said he is “upset” by the scalping situation, but sorry don’t butter my biscuit, Jim. In fairness, it does sound like they’re working to try and mitigate the problem, but it’s easier said than done, especially when a lot of that comes down to the distributors.
Part of why the consoles are going out of stock in mere seconds online is because scalpers and actual customers alike are employing the use of bots, which basically run a program to automatically check out your cart, so it’s exponentially faster than you could check out with your aforementioned grubby little hands.
Maybe part of the reason I still don’t have one is because I have some sort of weird moral high ground with bots (although I shamefully admit I’d be willing to get one to secure TWICE concert tickets). What it really comes down to is distributors needing to crack down on bots, but apparently that’s a difficult problem to crack.
I get the feeling Sony isn’t all that mad about the console shortage. To start, they’ve sold a staggering 10 million units, which makes it the best-selling console in the company’s history. Plus, regardless of who buys the console with bots, they’re still laughing all the way to the bank.
Then there’s the fact that the PS5 shortage makes it feel even more exclusive, so in a way it feels like the PS5 has become a status symbol, like some kind of limited edition designer sneaker. It’s weird to think that owning a certain console has become a part of flex culture online, something that was usually reserved for insanely intricate custom PC rigs. Hey, I’d flaunt it if I had one, too.
Part of me wonders if I would have gotten a PS5 by now if I were willing to play the game — the game being keeping up with new console drops and trying my hand at getting one. But the whole idea of setting an alarm, refreshing the page, and frantically trying to get it into my cart sounds like way too much effort exerted, especially knowing there’s a good chance I won’t get it at all.
I‘ve had my heart broken on too many makeup launches, I’m just going to wait until things have died down a little. I have plenty of other things to worry about, and plenty of games in my backlog to tide me over.
It’s been a really rough year for everyone, and the lack of PS5s has been a small, but meaningful part of that. Games are usually the thing we go to to escape a shitty situation for a little while, and when frustrations keep mounting over the shortage, it just reminds us of the shittiness all over again.
If nothing else, I guess, know that if you don’t have your PS5 yet, you’re not alone. At least we can take solace in the fact that we’re all in this together as we cry over our crusty old PS4s.