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PS5, Xbox Series X Will Be in Best Buy Stores Thursday (Updated)

Best Buy RTX 30 Ampere Event, August 26, 2021
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Update 9/22: Best Buy has made a post on its official site confirming that it will have an in-store console restock event on Thursday, September 23rd. Best Buy employees will hand out tickets for individual consoles starting at 7:30, which will guarantee ticket holders an opportunity to purchase that console. The post also allows you to find a participating store nearby.

Online PS5 and Xbox Series X restocks are commonplace enough that our colleague over at Techradar, Matt Swider, now dedicates a whole chunk of his Twitter feed to keeping track of them. But now, Matt’s reporting that Best Buy’s going to hold its first ever in-store PS5 and Xbox Series X restock event this Thursday. If this holds true, this would also be the first time you’d be able to find a PS5 in-store at any major non-club retailer in 2021.

What makes in-store restock events so exciting is that bots can’t just buy up all the stock just a few seconds after opening. You’ll still have to contend with resellers and line jumpers, of course, but at least in-person, you can give them the evil eye.

Swider’s sources tell him that we can expect more than 50 consoles per participating store, and he says he has proof that the consoles are being stocked directly at store locations. That last part’s unusual, since they usually go to regional warehouses.

Still, you can see Matt’s receipts here, cropped and scrubbed of identifying info to protect his sources.

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The event process will work something like Best Buy’s recent RTX 3000 series GPU in-store sales, Swider’s sources expect. In other words, you’ll line up on Thursday morning outside of Best Buy, then managers will hand out tickets between 7 and 7:30am local time that you can trade in to make a purchase. You’ll then have to manually take your console home, since Best Buy hasn’t shipped consoles directly to customer doorsteps at all in 2021.

Also, you probably won’t be able to pre-purchase online and then claim your console in person. That would kind of defeat the point of the event, and while it’s possible (Target operates on a similar system), Swider hasn’t seen any talk of such a system yet.

Keep in mind, all of this information is still coming from anonymous sources. Swider’s urging readers not to start lining up at Best Buy yet, and instead wait until either he or Best buy can confirm the official ordering method for the event.

If things do proceed like Best Buy’s previous GPU events, though, then you’ll want to head in prepared. At his local Colorado Best Buy last month, our senior editor Jarred Walton saw 200 people show up for the event and many leave empty handed. The experience at that store was peaceful, at least, but that wasn't the case at every store. In New York, Swider says that the first 19 people his team saw in line were all resellers, and that they held spots for line jumpers to join them at the last second, pushing people buying for personal use even further back in the queue.

And we mean “pushing” literally. The line jumpers claimed to have always been there, which led to conflict, and Swider tweeting out that the line was “pure chaos.” Scenes like that might be why Best Buy and other stores haven’t hosted in-person console restock events this year. But it’s been 39 days since the last online console restock, and now we probably know why.

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt (Staff Writer) likes taking computers apart to see how they tick, from hardware to code. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.

  • Giroro
    Its been so hard to buy a console that I finally did it.
    I finally broke down and just bought a blu ray player.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    You know, it would be great if Best Buy also restricted purchases to once per 30 days like Microcenter. In fact, since they didn't consistently have supply every 30 days, make it long enough to cover the last big in-person sale, like 60 or 90 days. That would help stop the scalpers, which I also personally saw at one of the Nvidia restock Best Buy events.
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    My home theater needs a 4K bluray player. I was thinking the PS5 disc version could fill that role. I'd love to play the new Horizon Zero dawn and Ratchet & Clank games too. However, I wasted so much time and trips trying to get an RTX 30-series earlier this year and late last year that I do not have the patience to even try lining up for a PS5 at BestBuy. 50 consoles per store isn't enough. I want a minimum of 300 per store before considering lining up.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    2Be_or_Not2Be said:
    You know, it would be great if Best Buy also restricted purchases to once per 30 days like Microcenter. In fact, since they didn't consistently have supply every 30 days, make it long enough to cover the last big in-person sale, like 60 or 90 days. That would help stop the scalpers, which I also personally saw at one of the Nvidia restock Best Buy events.
    IIRC they required some identity to be recorded, like your driver's license. Otherwise how do you track who bought stuff?

    While I'm sure most people would leave Microcenter alone, I don't think Best Buy, you know a big corporation, would be able to get away with that.
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    hotaru.hino said:
    IIRC they required some identity to be recorded, like your driver's license. Otherwise how do you track who bought stuff?

    While I'm sure most people would leave Microcenter alone, I don't think Best Buy, you know a big corporation, would be able to get away with that.
    They already do. BestBuy requires photo IDs for returns and certain Magnolia purchases. Given how infrequent the restocks are, I don't think collecting ID would be very effective without a much longer waiting period for a repeat purchase. I definitely welcome ANYTHING that tries to counter scalpers though! ANYTHING. Like come on, a year later and the bots and scalpers are still controlling the market.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    bigdragon said:
    My home theater needs a 4K bluray player. I was thinking the PS5 disc version could fill that role. I'd love to play the new Horizon Zero dawn and Ratchet & Clank games too. However, I wasted so much time and trips trying to get an RTX 30-series earlier this year and late last year that I do not have the patience to even try lining up for a PS5 at BestBuy. 50 consoles per store isn't enough. I want a minimum of 300 per store before considering lining up.

    Last one I lined up at Best Buy, I found out people (most young adults) had camped out the night before. I got there close to 6am, and I found out I was still #140 in line. I ended up with nothing. Very likely that others jumped in with their "friends" when the actual tickets were being passed out.

    However, with these consoles - and the possibility of both PS5s and XSXs being available, I would think they would have over 100 of each. Hopefully even 200+ of each. If a lot show up, then limit it to one item per person.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    bigdragon said:
    They already do. BestBuy requires photo IDs for returns and certain Magnolia purchases. Given how infrequent the restocks are, I don't think collecting ID would be very effective without a much longer waiting period for a repeat purchase. I definitely welcome ANYTHING that tries to counter scalpers though! ANYTHING. Like come on, a year later and the bots and scalpers are still controlling the market.

    Yeah, you need a waiting period to make it effective. Keep it to 90 days for these consoles (nice for GPUs as well). Lock it down by photo ID and by physical address.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    bigdragon said:
    They already do. BestBuy requires photo IDs for returns and certain Magnolia purchases.
    Requiring an ID doesn't mean they store that data. Locking people out of a repeat purchase requires them to store the data.
    Reply
  • onemarble
    I don't mean to be a pessimist, but when are these stores going to stop doing these line up early, Black Friday type events at stores for limited quantities? The scalpers keep sending their minions to buy up everything so the rest of us can't pay simple retail pricing. With the world getting crazier by the minute, it's only going to take a scuffle in line for a stupid gaming console to draw the guns and kill somebody over who gets it first. Only then will BestBuy and other retailers realize that this method of distributing goods is not the way to go. Not saying I have the solution to getting retail items to consumers at normal prices, but there has got to be a better way for people who actually want the thing to buy it without paying a 60% markup or standing in line for hours. I have always hated scalpers for concerts and sporting events and now they have turned to buying up hot retail items to turn a profit.
    Reply
  • todamoon
    Have been so tired of refreshing the pages for drops, so decided to find some xbox bot. Has anyone used this chrome extension before? Seems to be pretty decent but I won't know whether it works until there's a drop, appreciate any comments:
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/costbell/blledejkbfneccjaihhddinaeaceppmk
    Reply