- The PlayStation 5 launched last Thursday, but it has been nearly impossible to buy.
- The only certain way to get a PlayStation 5 at launch was by preordering it. But at least one retailer is selling PS5s digitally on a first-come, first-served basis: Walmart.
- The first drop of PlayStation 5 consoles was at noon ET on launch, and it promptly took down the entire Walmart web store.
- A resupply one week later had the same results: Walmart’s whole web store was down temporarily as interest in the PlayStation 5 overwhelmed the site. The console sold out nearly instantly.
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After months of anticipation, Sony’s new PlayStation 5 finally launched last Thursday.
Because of the pandemic, Sony decided not to go the traditional route and didn’t sell the new console in stores at launch.
Instead, the only way to get one last week was to have preordered it months ago from one of several retailers. But at least one retailer, Walmart, announced plans for staggered PlayStation 5 supply drops throughout the day.
The first, at noon ET, caused the entire Walmart web store to crash. A technical-error message said simply, “No healthy upstream.” It was later replaced by a more user-friendly page explaining that the store was overloaded by too many shoppers at one time.
When Walmart had a temporary resupply on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, the website was once again largely inoperable. I hit errors while attempting to check out, and was repeatedly redirected to the error page above.
Eventually, the website said it was out of PlayStation 5 stock.
“Like last time, there continues to be a huge amount of interest in the PS5 that caused the site to be a bit slower than normal for a few minutes, but still functional,” a Walmart representative told Business Insider.
Similar issues happened in September, when Sony and Microsoft first allowed customers to preorder their respective next-gen game consoles.
It’s unclear how many PS5 consoles Walmart had available on Thursday, but it is clear there weren’t enough for everyone who wanted one: Despite our own attempts to buy one, Walmart had sold out of consoles in less than 15 minutes.
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