Hordes of gamers desperate to snag a PlayStation 5 poured into malls and shopping centers nationwide on Black Friday in hopes of snagging the elusive console.
Shoppers lined up outside stores overnight with the goal of being near the front of the line before the limited inventory each store received sold out. Since preorders went live in September, the PlayStation 5 has been all but impossible to find.
One pair of shoppers set up folding chairs and dressed up mannequins to hold their spot, while another duo brought a TV and video-game console to pass the time.
Another shopper wheeled a mattress and bedding to the entrance of a Norfolk, Va., GameStop to be first in line to score the $500 gaming system. At a Florida GameStop, one man had been waiting on line since on line since Wednesday for the store’s Black Friday opening.
For most eager buyers, however, the wait was likely for naught. Many stores received as few as two units of the PlayStation 5, with Sony struggling to keep up with the monumental demand that has been fueled by gamers being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The official PlayStation Twitter account on Wednesday said the PS5 launch was its “biggest console launch ever,” calling demand “unprecedented” and promising more inventory by the end of the year.
Sony has yet to release any official sales numbers for the PS5, which came out almost two weeks ago, but the console has not consistently been in stock at any retailer since its chaotic preorder rollout in September, leading some impatient gamers to cough up thousands of dollars on eBay.
Earlier this week, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said in an interview that the next-generation gaming system is likely to see continued stock shortages, but that it hopes to have more in stores by the end of the year.
“Everything is sold. Absolutely everything is sold,” Ryan told Russian news outlet TASS. “I’ve spent much of the last year trying to be sure that we can generate enough demand for the product. And now in terms of my executive bandwidth, I’m spending a lot more time on trying to increase supply to meet that demand.”
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