Video game enthusiasts and parents of video game enthusiasts already planning for Christmas were pulling out their hair yesterday.

Sony announced earlier this year that its newest video game console, the PlayStation 5, would be released in time for the holiday season. As September rolled around anxious fans began to leak rumors of the console's price, accessories and release date. Sony responded with an announcement stating that there would be a presale but promised customers it wouldn't drop suddenly by surprise and they would have plenty of time to prepare.

That did not happen.

On Wednesday Sony held an online event revealing more details about the PlayStation 5 and announcing that presales would begin "as early as Thursday, September 17." That's when all hell broke loose.

Within hours Walmart already had gone live with their presale, followed by Target and Best Buy. All of the inventory quickly sold out within minutes. By Wednesday night Amazon let loose with their presale too, but that also quickly sold out.


I was lucky enough to decide to check the Target app after learning of the early release on Walmart and clicked the link at just the right time, snagging a coveted PS5 for my son this Christmas. But those of you who weren't able to secure one may still be in luck.

GameStop has been reportedly preselling their inventory in person. That means that those who didn't run out to their local store yesterday may still be able to stop by when they open Thursday morning and secure a PlayStation 5.

Sony has also announced that they will be directly offering presales to existing customers. If you haven't done so already, you can register on their website for the opportunity to buy one in advance. As of Thursday morning, Sony was still accepting applications and apparently has not begun to send out invitations for their direct presale yet.

While Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Amazon all show sold-out inventories, it may also be worth checking back periodically throughout the day. Once the dust settles and the frenzy of presales are finalized, it's very possible that there may be some inventory leftover and put back up on the website. Some people who got caught up in the moment may have also ordered from multiple sources and will be canceling their preorders over the next few days, making them available to others.

If all else fails, there's always November 12. That's the official release date for PlayStation 5 and retailers promise that more inventory will be available on that day. It's unclear how doorbuster sales will work under the shadow of COVID-19, but these things are usually a mess in normal times. I'd suggest checking with stores in the weeks leading up to find out exactly when places in line will be assigned.

At $500 for the PlayStation 5 and $400 for the scaled-down digital version, this high-end video game console looks to be the "must-have" gift this Christmas. Best of luck to everyone on hunting one down for the gamer on their holiday shopping list.

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