We’re almost two years into the PS5’s life cycle now, and Sony’s newest console is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s still effortlessly outselling Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S machines (although things are starting to look a little dicier in that regard), and its strong lineup of first-party titles should help it to maintain dominance over the competition for the foreseeable future. There’s just one blemish on the PS5’s record: it’s almost impossible to actually get ahold of one.
Right now, the PS5 is in very short supply around the world, with retail restocks getting snapped up in minutes or even seconds by an eager gaming public. There’s a dark side to that fervour, though; sometimes, it’s not actually gamers who are buying PS5 stock. Rather, it’s squadrons of bots lined up to make purchases as soon as PS5s go on sale, and due to the nature of these bots’ coding, you can never hope to compete with them if you’re just an ordinary person with a web browser primed to pick up a PS5.
With that in mind, you might have seen or heard the phrase “single use restricted PS5” while you’re looking for a console on your travels. You might then reasonably ask the following question: what is a single use restricted PS5? Well, the answer might be a little more complex than you think, especially if you live outside the US. It has to do with a certain retailer and its approach to helping customers to buy PS5 consoles without being bothered by bots. Here’s our explanation as to what a single use restricted PS5 is.
You’ll only see “single use restricted PS5” if you shop at Wal-Mart
If you’ve seen a single use restricted PS5 link in the wild, it’s probably at US retailer Wal-Mart, as that retailer is currently the main site using this wording. As such, you probably won’t see single use restricted PS5s if you’re shopping in the UK or Europe, unless you’re intending to buy a US machine for specific purposes.
In essence, the single use restricted PS5 link is intended to help gamers who want to buy a PS5 but who might not be able to compete with the hordes of bots and scalpers out there.
Here’s the rundown. Wal-Mart has been having issues with restocking PS5 consoles only to see them almost immediately show “out of stock” messages, with scalpers buying up the entire restock to sell them on at ridiculous resale rates. Naturally, Wal-Mart doesn’t want to sell its consoles to scalpers; it wants to sell them to gamers, because scalping is wrong (take note if you’re reading this and you’re scalping).
So, what can Wal-Mart do? Well, that’s where we can finally answer the question “what is a single use restricted PS5”. You might see “single use – restricted” on a PS5 listing on Wal-Mart, and if you do, it means that when you buy the console, you will be sent a purchase link if your order is cancelled or suddenly shows “out of stock”. This usually happens when the order has been snapped up by a bot or a scalper before you were able to check out.
If you click the link Wal-Mart sends you, then you’ll be sent to a new page where you can buy your PS5. Only you have that link, and it’s single use only, which means you can’t buy multiple machines or bundles with it. This should help you to beat the scammers and purchase your PS5 without issue. There’s nothing more frustrating than being beaten by scammers and bots (who contribute a huge amount to the current PS5 stocking crisis), so if you are given one of these links, it’s definitely in your best interest to use it.
When will the PS5 stock crisis be resolved?
It’s hard to say when PS5 consoles will be back in stock on a regular basis. Some analysts have predicted that 2023 might be an easier year to find a PS5, with Sony forecasting increased sales of the console throughout the year. Others, however, say that due to ongoing chip shortages that don’t seem to be easing up, the PS5 may remain difficult to find for the foreseeable future. In short, the answer is that until Sony finds a solution for its chip shortage (which is affecting the electronics industry as a whole, making this unlikely), the PS5 will probably remain difficult to find, so you might want to be quick on the draw with your buying hand.
Should you buy a PS5 from scalpers if you miss your chance?
Of course, we can’t tell you what to do when it comes to buying a PS5 from a scalper. If you’re desperate for the console and you don’t mind paying the increased price – and you’re sure you can trust the scalper from whom you’re buying your PS5 – then by all means, go ahead. You’ll get your PS5, which is good!
However, you should think carefully about whether this is definitely a good decision. After all, supporting scalpers is morally dubious; it shows that scalping works, which is also more likely to make scalpers repeat their strategy in future. On the other hand, it’s not likely that scalpers will stop what they’re doing simply because you personally decide not to avail yourself of their services. In the end, it comes down to how desperate you are for the PS5, whether you’re willing to pay inflated prices, and whether you can wait until the console is on sale from a legitimate retailer. Only you can make that decision!