The PlayStation Direct PS5 queue has been one of the best ways to get a new PlayStation 5 console, but it's just had a major change — your place in line will now be randomly assigned.
A few weeks back, Sony unveiled the PlayStation Direct queue as a way to purchase a new PS5 console. The idea behind it was simple: customers would digitally "line up" by signing up for the queue and then they would be allowed to purchase consoles depending on their place in line.
There are only so many consoles, though, and only the earliest people to jump in line would be able to buy one whenever the queue opened. Now, that system is changing entirely — customers will now be assigned a random spot in the queue for buying a PS5.
Why Did the PlayStation Direct PS5 Queue Change?
The change to the PlayStation Direct PS5 Queue was noted by games industry tweeter @Wario64, a man who has been religiously tracking the availablity of PS5 consoles through the program.
When PS5 console inventory becomes available, you will be assigned a random place in queue.
"Today's queue is different now that Sony is making your queue placement random, as long as you load the page before 1 PM PT," read a tweet from @Wario64.
Why the change? Sony hasn't addressed the issue on that particular page, but I'd put good money on it being a novel attempt to combat scalpers. Ask anyone who tried to buy a new game console or a new piece of PC hardware this year — more often than not, the sales would go live for about half a second before a bunch of automated bots gobbled up all of the available stock, only for the scalpers to turn around and sell it on eBay at a profit.
As this article from USG Corporations Michael Driscoll details, scalping has been phenomenally profitable in 2020. The PS5, in particular, has had a median price of $1,025–$1,101 on eBay depending on the model — more than two times the $499 retail cost of the more expensive disc-based model.
Entering for a random chance to buy something may seem unusual in the West, but it's become an increasingly common practice in Sony's home country of Japan. Previously, the popularity of the Nintendo Switch necessitated similar lotteries, albeit at physical retailers.
Will the changes to the PlayStation Direct PS5 queue actually combat scalpers? This change means that speed is not as much of a factor for your chances at getting a new PlayStation 5, so it might just get the job done — although not everyone is likely to be happy about their chances.
What do you think of the changes Sony has made to the PlayStation Direct system? Do you think there's a better way to order popular products online? Let us know in the comments below!