I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s getting easier to buy PS5 hardware in Australia. For now, at least.
To date, there have only been two surefire ways to buy a PS5 console. The first, and most reliable, is The Long Game: join a waiting list at stores like EB Games or JB HiFi and hang on until they call your number. The other option, let’s call it PlayStation Roulette, involves waiting for a surprise drop and going like buggery to get your order over the line before stock disappears or the website crashes.
It’s the Roulette option that’s changed. They’re getting more frequent. The time between console drops has been whittled away over the last couple of weeks. This feels like something you’d notice only if you were keeping direct track of it.
Which we are. In case you haven’t seen them before, we run separate pages tracking both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X drops across Australia. If you’re on the hunt for a console, please make sure you bookmark them. We’re updating them regularly, and we’ve broken them out by retailer and most recent drop.
It’s worth noting that these drops are still disappearing quite quickly. This could mean that the amount of stock available drop-to-drop may not have significantly changed. But they’re happening more regularly, and that’s a good sign.
(Google alert goes off) It’s happening again
All our console drop leads and alerts went quiet after the 2021 Christmas rush concluded. Though there were a few drops here and there in January, the stock had dried up by February and the month passed in relative silence.
Early March promised more of the same. And then, in the third week of the month, the gates abruptly opened. PS5 drops have been coming through in waves every other day since. We’re now only four days into April and there have been several more console drops already (mostly from Amazon Australia, which seems to have secured the lion’s share of the stock).
PlayStation seems to be having its retail partners drop hardware round by round. Amazon goes first, then Target, then Big W, then EB Games, then back to Amazon. No one ever drops hardware at the same time, though stores may have multiple drops scheduled for a single day. It’s not uncommon to see Amazon Australia get a drop live at 10 am and another at 4 pm.
It’s the increased frequency of the drops that are heartening though. It means we’re inching closer to a world where you can just walk into a store and grab a console off the shelf.
That’s a far cry from the end of 2021. As we headed into Christmas, all indications were that COVID-19 related manufacturing shortages across the electronics sector were about to wreak sustained havoc in the year ahead.
So far, so good. It could all go to absolute piss in the months ahead. But as things stand right now, you have a better chance of nabbing a console today than in the last 16 months combined. Even we were able to buy a PS5 console for Ruby from one of these Roulette drops, and we count ourselves quite lucky. It’s much easier for Ruby to do her job now that she has all the hardware she needs.
Should we expect this to carry on much longer?
Hard to say. For now, the broad advice is still: get in while the getting is good. After a few solid weeks of drops, it feels like it could all go away again any day. The alarms and alerts could fall dormant once more, and another long wait begins. From there, who knows how long the cycle continues. God forbid, we could still be doing this at Christmas. Imagine a third year of scrambling to secure a PS5 at Christmas. I pray it doesn’t come to that.
Those of you on waiting lists at JB and EB Games though, you’re the real MVPs. Hold the line. Your faith will be rewarded in time.