Demand For PS5 In Japan Means High Gray Market Prices

Illustration for article titled Demand For PS5 In Japan Means High Gray Market Prices
Photo: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images (Getty Images)
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When the PlayStation 5 launched earlier today, there weren’t long lines wrapped around the stores. In Japan and internationally, Sony is limiting launch sales to online and pre-order pickups.


“The COVID-19 situation makes us very nervous about putting stock into stores around the launch window,” Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, told Nikkei Asia.

According to Kyodo News, Japanese electronics retail chain Nojima Corp. received 100 times more pre-orders than the number of units it had planned to sell.

Online e-commerce site Mercari has been flooded with listings for digital and the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive versions of the PlayStation 5, with gray market sellers asking as much as $1,000 or more. According to the listings, people are paying for these marked-up consoles.

Illustration for article titled Demand For PS5 In Japan Means High Gray Market Prices
Screenshot: mercari

In the past, when gray market sellers tried to profile on the oh-so-hot Nintendo Switch, retailers tried combating that by having customers line up at the stores and raffle away chances to buy the consoles—a system that was problematic but one that could hopefully deter profiteers. Obviously, with the pandemic, that’s simply not possible.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.


Same thing is happening to every gadget nowadays it seems. No 3080, no PS5, I guess no Xbox nor AMD new graphic cards in a few days as well. It’s only bot and people buying from scalpers, unless you got extremely lucky and had a pre-order.

It’s scalpers all the way otherwise. Items are sold out the second they are put online, you’ll never complete the payment process before it’s all out of stock. Not a single website has any protection whatsoever against bots.

I guess customers are not the priority, as long as the money comes in. I don’t expect to have a PS5 before a few months, and I was hyped as fuck to play it next week or something. This is so utterly disappointing. At least, with store stock, we’d have a chance, but nope, fuck you customer!

At least, Shadowlands won’t go out of stock so I’ll have something to play, but man, this sucks, hard.