It’s one of the most hotly anticipated and most difficult to purchase consoles on the planet right now.
While the rest of the world manages to get by on a trickle of the PlayStation 5, Australians have been particularly badly hit by a regional shortage of parts in Asia and difficulty in delivering stock to our island nation.
With thousands still unable to purchase the next-generation console nine months after it was officially released, people have been desperately clinging onto updates from retailers as to when and where they might get stock in.
The PlayStation 5 stock watch Twitter account, AustraliaPS5, caused a big stir on Thursday, July 29 by announcing that Big W was “99.9%” certain to release a big drop of the new console at 10am that day.
Unfortunately, Big W decided not to release its consoles — but they are thought to do so imminently.
“Big W have over 2000 units – this is confirmed,” the account tweeted yesterday.
This is a large drop of consoles, following a recent official release of PlayStation 5s from Sony. Amazon also recently had a batch of stock that went on sale last week and quickly sold out.
Usually, new PlayStation 5 consoles are secured and released by retailers in batches of a few hundred, which very quickly disappear.
Those on the hunt are encouraged to sign up for a Big W account and refresh this page frequently to be in with a chance to nab a PS5.
Because of the lack of availability, a micro-industry of scalpers has developed around the consoles. Less than scrupulous individuals have set up bots to trawl the internet for PS5 sales and buy up large quantities as soon as they go on sale. These are then sold on for many, many times their recommended retail price, leading to frustration amongst fans and causing retailers to impose limits on customer orders.
Big W encountered problems with scalpers as it became known that it had secured a large quantity of the console.
One individual posted a screenshot of a Discord server scalper group claiming to have hacked the back-end of the Big W website and place a tonne of orders before the consoles were officially released.
A frustrated fan then forwarded the screenshot to Big W’s Instagram account and the retailer responded by saying that the “issue has now been fixed” and that customers who want a PS5 “will not be impacted”.
Hacking attempts like this could be the reason why Big W did not release the consoles today although it was forced to insert a queuing system on the website at 10am, meaning it could simply be unprepared for the surge in demand.
A subsequent tweet from AustraliaPS5 notes that “Big W have always dropped after they got around 2000 units in on a Thursday morning”.
“They will definitely drop in the coming days. I cannot predict when, but those 2000 consoles have to go somewhere”.
Big W have now stated that they will not be selling any PS5s today.
I believe the drop was planned today, but either because of the overwhelming traffic or to resolve the scalper situation, it is no longer going ahead.
They will drop in the coming days though.
— PS5 Stock Alerts Australia (@AustraliaPs5) July 29, 2021
“It’s also highly likely that we’ll see Amazon drop PS5s in the next day or two,” they added.