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What the Tech: The PS5 launch has made the world more chaotic than usual

Console launches are massive events in the calendar of any serious gamer, but things went truly crazy with the PS5 launch this week – from stock issues, to bizarre mix-ups and opportunistic mark-ups. 

November 17 was the day that PlayStation fans had been eagerly anticipating for months. The PS5 console was finally seeing the light of day, along with a tranche of new blockbuster games, and suddenly the pandemic-infested world seemed like a brighter place.

But no sooner had the country woken up to a brave new world of graphically-enhanced gaming, things started to go wrong.

Firstly, all major retailers from Curry to John Lewis, from Argos to Amazon, seemed to immediately run out of stock for the new console. In some cases you had to wait in an online queue before even being able to join the site – and only then would you discover that you were out of luck, and would have to wait who knows how long for your next chance.

But the news wasn’t always much better even for those who had been well-prepared enough to order in advance. In some bizarre and gut-wrenching mix-ups, customers were delivered the wrong items; take poor Anthony here, who ordered a PS5 from Amazon but instead received a Nerf gun…

With calamity on all sides, was it at least possible to get your hands on a PS5 from an online marketplace? Well yes, but only it you were to pay through the teeth.

These two listings showed consoles priced around the £1,000 mark – more than double the product’s RRP. It’s a clear sign of scalpers taking advantage of the games console’s rarity and desirability just days after release, and we advise you to steer well clear and wait it out, no matter how difficult that seems.

But even if you have got that £1,000 rattling around in your pocket, think of all the other things you could buy instead, rather than handing over your cash to the scalpers.

For one thing, you could buy yourself a Nintendo Switch for just over a quarter of that price (and if you’re really lagging behind the games scene, you could get a PS4 for the new knockdown price of £250).

But if the whole sorry affair has turned you off games forever, then just consider the alternatives. Disney Plus is the cheapest streaming service at jus £5.99 per month, so if the price were to stay the same (spoiler alert: it won’t), then you could pay for almost fourteen years of streaming Disney classics with the same money.

If lockdown has brought out your creative side, then why not pursue a new hobby: music or sport for instance. And don’t be modest! For the same price you easily buy a set of golf clubs, or even push the boat out and get yourself a cello.

But what’s worth even more than money is the gift of patience. So why not just lie back, relax, do some meditative yoga if it helps, and accept that you might just have to wait a few more months to get your hands on a PS5 with the expect RRP. Personally, I’m going to yell at a brick wall until the situation fixes itself.


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