Photo Credit: Akhil Arora/Gadgets 360
PS5's August 26 India restock, predictably, disappeared in minutes. New pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 and PS5 Digital Edition went live at 12pm noon on Thursday, and all the stock was gone under a minute on most websites. Amazon ran into server trouble once again, with its site throwing up an error page: “It's rush hour and traffic is piling up on that page. Please try again in a short while.” I managed to add the PS5 Digital Edition to cart after a few attempts, but Amazon said it was out of stock like five seconds later. I couldn't even do as much on Sony Center website ShopAtSC, where the “add to cart” button didn't appear for several minutes — and then jumped to out of stock in a few second. It did return later, but I then got stuck in the “queue” on the complete order page. On Vijay Sales, I spotted the buy button briefly, but it was an error, the site said.
The rest of them, as we expect them to, performed even poorly. I never even spotted the add to cart button on Reliance Digital. Flipkart went from “coming soon” to “sold out” even before we hit 12pm, just like it keeps happening. Croma showed it had stock for both PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition even after 12:10pm — much after other websites had reverted to unavailable — but I was unable to complete checkout. Prepaid Gamer Card put up PS5 stock after 12:30pm, but the site was stuck loading after I clicked “add to cart”, and ended with a 524 timeout error. And yes as always, Games The Shop performed the worst; it temporarily went down before pre-orders began, and has failed to load for me ever since. It's either forever stuck loading or ends up with an “service is unavailable” error.
PS5's August 26 restock ended up being the same story, as it has been ever since restocks began in May. Sony continues to bring in very few PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition units into India despite repeatedly witnessing staggering demand. On top of that, none of India's online retailing giants can build a website that can withstand the PS5 load. And with demand outpacing supply globally into 2022, the situation isn't going to get better anytime soon. This was only the fourth pre-order phase for PS5 Digital Edition, and the seventh for the PS5. No date on the next round of PS5 India pre-orders yet, but given the monthly cadence for past few months, expect one in September if not two.
The August PS5 India pre-orders will begin shipping September 10, according to Amazon, Sony Center, and Vijay Sales. Expect the others — Croma, Flipkart, Games The Shop, Prepaid Gamer Card, and Reliance Digital — to ship PS5 pre-orders in and around the same date. On the past few occasions, online retailers have sent out PlayStation orders prior to the given date, so if you're lucky, you might get it before the promised date. Of course, the delivery date will also depend on if retailers take in more bookings than they can fulfill. Some platforms have been known to cancel or delay PS5 pre-orders as well.
All the PS5 restock seems to be gone for now, but you can keep an eye on the eight aforementioned websites and register for notifications, if you like. You might have better luck checking with a game store near you though — if they are open. Sony India has also set up a helpline at 1800-103-7799 to help PlayStation fans find local retailers across India.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which is the best "next-gen" console in India? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.