(Pocket-lint) - There's a survivor's guilt mentality to having successfully secured a PS5 when your friends haven't been so lucky. After managing to nab a pre-order at the first opportunity, we've been in assistance mode ever since.
Keeping friends aware of stock notices, and all getting ready for pre-announced launch times has been an extended experiment in frustration, though, for us and so many others. In case you missed it, trying to buy a PS5 right now is a bit of a travesty.
This week, in the UK and Europe at least, has seen random bunches of stock appearing without any notice or degree of predictability on a range of retailers' sites. Argos went live in the wee hours two days in a row, before Amazon had about 3 minutes' worth of stock at around 8:30 AM yesterday, but regardless of your site of choice, there have been no formal announcements or warnings ahead of time.
That's led to vocal and obvious frustration on social media, and a field day for resellers and bots, which don't need notifications to start scraping through orders. It's hard to avoid a feeling that the obvious lessons about demand from launch have been at best impossible to implement, and at worst ignored.
On launch day a few weeks ago we were largely given times to expect new stock on certain sites, and while that led to absolute traffic jams and in a couple of cases crashes, there's at least a sense of equality to the struggle when you all know where to be and when.
Checking Twitter to randomly discover that stock has been and gone while you were making a coffee is of another order of annoyance, though. It seems as though retailers may have decided that the better course of action is to simply make things available without notice, to avoid crushes of people and simply leave it up to luck whether they can get there fast enough.
There's a form of logic to that, but it's not one that feels fair or equitable when you're on the other side of the coin, and the speed with which more hyper-inflated resale options have been popping up suggests it's not having the effects hoped for.
Obvious solutions are thin on the ground, but for the purchasing experience to be even more fraught this time around is quite a failure on the retailers' end, even as they'd look to shift responsibility onto Sony for a lack of units to sell.
Without a clear sense for when we can expect stock to begin to keep pace with demand, there's a looming worry that this could be the status quo for quite some time to come, and certainly into the new year. If you remember how difficult it became to find a Wii in the first year of that console's life cycle, you'll feel the same sense of dread this time round.