PS5 stock chaos: Why the police have been called in Japan

Stock shortages continue to hit the PlayStation 5 console across the globe…

by Oliver Barsby
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With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, physical pre-orders and orders of the PlayStation 5 have been done mainly online over the past five months.

This has meant that rather than dealing with huge Black Friday or release day queues, much of the problems for prospective PS5 owners have come from console scalpers and resellers instead.

However, as reported by PSU, one Tokyo store’s attempts to sell PlayStation 5 consoles ended rather chaotically, with the police being required to restore order. Here’s the rundown…

PS5 sale ends in chaos

Mirroring the PS5 lottery system (known as ‘chuusen’) implemented by most Japanese retailers, Tokyo’s Yodobashi Camera store was set to give out a “few hundred tickets” to customers on January 30, 2021.

As more people gathered inside the video game section of the store, crowds went into a frenzy when a Yodobashi Camera employee finally came out with the tickets. People “pushed so hard even the cash registers and staff went backwards”, said Dave Gibson, a customer attempting to buy a PlayStation 5.

This all occurred as Tokyo remains in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As seen by the image below, social distancing was very minimal.


After chaos erupted, the police were called in to regain control over the situation. The PlayStation 5 sale was subsequently cancelled.

READ MORE: PS5 and Xbox Series X stock: How AMD’s “added capacity” could help you get a console

Why is there such a PlayStation 5 shortage?

While Sony has boasted of the PS5’s release being among the biggest console launches in its history, hundreds of thousands of players are still yet to secure their next-gen console due to stock issues.

This stems in part from the huge demand placed on AMD – the chip manufacturer for both the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 consoles. According to CEO Lisa Su, the shortage of next-gen consoles caused by this demand will continue into the second half of 2021.


Alongside manufacturing issues, online sales of next-gen consoles have been marred by the abundance of bots and scalpers attempting to make a profit from desperate gamers through eBay. Selling consoles in person may resolve such issues but, as demonstrated by the events in Tokyo, this comes with its own problems.

READ MORE: How PS5 scalpers use sneaky tricks to buy consoles before you can

Oliver Barsby