Pandemonium at Tokyo PS5 Sale

Yodobashi Camera, an electronics retailer in Japan, released a large shipment of PS5 units in Tokyo late last night (er, early in the morning, for them). What followed was, by Japanese standards, a complete breakdown of social order, as eager consumers mobbed the store to get their mitts on the supply-constrained system.

Per Kotaku, who’s Brian Ashecroft first broke the story, the tumult was the result of a relaxing of their normal requirement, intended to dissuade scalpers, that purchasers use the retailer’s black credit card for purchase. This, combined with limited, numbered tickets that were issued on a first-come-first-serve basis, evidently created a perfect storm that drew a massive crowd that shoved their way through the store, pressing against the clerk holding the tickets, even shoving back the cash registers.

In the end police were summoned to the scene, and Yodobashi Camera shut down the sale. Video of the scene shows the crush of bodies, an anxiety-inducing scenario under any circumstances, but especially so during a time when a highly-contagious respiratory illness has hobbled much of the globe.

The PlayStation 5 has, of course, continued to be in short supply since its launch back in November of 2020. In spite of this shortage, the PS5 has, per Sony, outdone the PS4’s launch, which sold 2.1 million units during its first week back in 2013. As a result of the continuing supply issues, scalpers have been an ongoing problem, leaving ordinary gaming fans stuck deciding whether or not it’s worth it to buy a system now, or save a couple hundred bucks and buy it when the already-pricey console is more readily available.