2021.10.26

Moby Dick Playstation 5 bad mashup deep social commentary

I was okay missing the first round of PS5s; launch day hardware isn't the best and there weren't a ton of games available. Now, a year on, I'd like for mine and J's next game (Back 4 Blood or Far Cry) to be on the new system.

So where have things gone from the hype/chip shortage/stay-at-home clusterfuck of last winter? Well, there's a bit less hype and we're not in a second wave lockdown anymore. So easier? Right? Easier?

Scalped systems still go for $1,000 on ebay and no normal retailers have them in stock.

Derrick had previously pointed me to nowinstock.net. The site looks kind of janky, but that's probably because it's some random dude who wrote a web scraper for various retailers (Target, Best Buy, etc.). I can, at least, personally validate the GameStop data, as we'll see.

Anyway, looking at his historical data it looks like online retailers occasionally get (and list) PS5 consoles in stock. Word gets out and they sell out within minutes. GameStop looked pretty attractive since it appears to regularly get supply on Tuesday.

GameStop Playstation 5 bundles pro early access

Always looking for the upsell, GameStop bundles the system with games and stuff, but the bundle happened to include Far Cry so I was okay with it. Always looking for the membership, GameStop offers early access to their members. I was on the fence about buying in but decided that GME was good enough to me in January to justify a $15 membership (for one year, I turned off auto-renew).
Locked and loaded, Tuesday comes

So I'm documenting my experiences today, I had an identical experience *last* Tuesday.

GameStop Playstation 5 browser setup
Battlestations: Chrome (no js blockers) on the product page, Firefox (js blockers disabled) on the product page and NowInStock. Gamestop even sent an email that consoles would be available at 10:00. I started F5ing (which may have been unnecessary).

GameStop Playstation 5 page load fail
The GameStop web servers seemed to recoil in anticipation of the heavy load.

GameStop Playstation 5 add to cart captcha
At about 10:15, the systems went live. Adding one to my cart required passing a captcha, something a little weird to see post-login.

GameStop Playstation 5 product is no longer available
Most times the captcha would return me to the product page with a bubble indicating it was no longer available. The "Add to cart" button would still be displayed (instead of flipped back to "Unavailable"). Reload, wait for "Unavailable" to turn to "Add to cart", repeat. Oh hey, another captcha.

GameStop Playstation 5 in cart protection plans
Eventually I got one added to my cart. I'll use the shopping metaphor: finally I was able to successfully move the product from the shelf to my cart without store personnel taking it from my hand.

GameStop Playstation 5 empty cart
Time to look at the thing in my cart that no one had taken from me. Oh, it's not there. Back to the product page.

GameStop Playstation 5 in cart
Finally, it's in my cart. To the checkout aisle!

GameStop Playstation 5 captcha while in cart checkout
"Wait, are you still a person though?"

GameStop Playstation 5 cart error

In summary:
GameStop Playstation 5 removed from cart
Back to the shopping analogy, I handed the store clerk my item for checkout and he said, "What item?"

I think I need the GameStop strategy guide.