Crowds in Japan rush to get PS5 after retailer restocks them on Jan. 30

Demand outpacing supply.

Guan Zhen Tan | February 02, 2021, 04:09 PM

There have been huge demand for the Playstation 5 (PS5), Sony's latest gaming console.

Crowds squeezing against each other to get a PS5

That demand caused chaos over the weekend in Akihabara, Tokyo.

Yodobashi Camera, a popular electronics store restocked their supply of the PS5 console on Jan. 30.

When sales of the restocked supply began, this particular branch of Yodobashi Camera saw throngs of people squeezing against each other in a tight crowd.

While many of them were wearing masks, it was impossible to maintain a safe distance from another consumer, let alone move away from the crowd once one entered the queue.

This was also despite Japan's Covid-19 situation, with 1,791 new Covid-19 cases confirmed on Feb. 1 alone.

The police had to be called to manage the crowd situation.

Rumours on social media spread that amongst the crowd were foreign resellers.

There was also footage circulating online of resellers with bags of PS5 units.

Sales not done through pre-orders

To avoid scalpers and resellers from buying and reselling a huge number of the consoles, Japanese consumers often have to win a raffle lottery ticket to be allowed the purchase of a console.

According to Sora News, other Yodobashi Camera outlets limited sales for the PS5 to those holding on a certain credit card known as the Visa Gold Point Card Plus.

This is only made available to those who have spent at least 200,000 yen (S$2536.60) worth of products from the electronics chain.

However, the outlet in Akihabara opened sales for all.

Given the pandemic and demand for the console, the PS5 has been difficult to get.

In Singapore, the PS5 is not yet readily available in stores - with the Sony store, pre-orders have been filled up.

Video game retailer Qisahn is also deploying a raffle-system for batches of pre-orders.

Some lucky customers have got their hands on a unit.

Top photo via gttae63's and tabata__97's Twitter