It’s been a big year for PlayStation. From reaching a milestone of 500 million consoles sold, to announcing the PlayStation Classic and confirming work on its next console, Sony is going hard on gaming.
For the past few months, however, Sony’s flagship console, the PlayStation 4 Pro, has been curiously difficult to find. It’s even listed as discontinued at one retailer (although there’s a new listing that says it’s “Coming Soon”). The PlayStation 5 probably isn’t coming for at least three more years, and in the meantime, the PlayStation 4 Pro has definitely not been discontinued.
At the time of this writing, only three major retailers, Best Buy, GameStop and Target, had the PlayStation 4 Pro in stock online. Amazon’s stock fluctuates almost constantly: The PlayStation 4 Pro listing has gone from out of stock to “available on November 2” back to out of stock in the last few hours alone.
Whether Sony is spending more resources on new projects and just can’t keep up with demand, or scalpers are buying up consoles before customers, the bottom line is that lots of people are having trouble getting their hands on a PlayStation 4 Pro. With the holiday season approaching, it’s going to get even more difficult.
If you’ve been trying to buy a PlayStation 4 Pro and have been frustrated by stock issues, we’ve got some tips on how to get your hands on the console.
Bundle it up
I usually think of bundles as a “starter set” for new tech — anyone buying a new console is obviously going to want to play some games on it — though they’re usually used as promotions for new games as well. In this case, however, a bundle can also be a way to get around stock issues.
Sony’s current PS4 Pro bundle is a Red Dead Redemption 2 promotion. Instead of manufacturing a unique special-edition console as with Marvel’s Spider-Man, Sony bundled a physical copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 with a standard PS4 Pro — for the same price as a PS4 Pro. Even if you have no interest in playing cowboy, you won’t lose any money (and if you really wanted to, you could sell the game). It’s currently sold out at Amazon, but pretty much every other major retailer has it in stock.
Become an expert tracker
As much as we appreciate the convenience and free shipping that Amazon brings, it’s almost always the first place to sell out of a popular product, with Best Buy close behind. Instead of clicking through to every major retailer, use a tracker like NowInStock.net to easily see which stores have the PS4 Pro in stock. You can sign up for a free account to get alerts when new inventory arrives.
Shop smarter, not harder
Just because something is sold out online doesn’t mean you can’t find it in a local store. When the NES Classic was restocked, it sold out quickly online, but I walked past a relatively full shelf of them at my local Target. Before you drive around to every big-box store in your area, though, most retailers allow customers to check local stores for inventory online. Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart and Target all offer free in-store pickup.