Walmart Rat - Praise the Sun

On a whim (and not without a dash of masochism), I decided to see if there were any PS5s due to hit virtual store shelves today. It had been a while since I even bothered to check (and by “a while” I mean “like two grueling days.”)

I started with Amazon, since I happened upon the tail end of their restock earlier in the week (which Amazon itself does not announce). I managed to peek at the listing quickly enough to see that it was marked as available, but not quickly enough to actually make the purchase before the bots and scalpers descended like locusts.

I moved onward to GameStop. It appeared they were hawking a hefty bundle, but I was willing to bite the bullet and shell out $650 for the console, an extra controller, and some other crap I probably don’t need, so long as it got me a fancy new PS5. But even though GameStop kept listing the product as available, I was unable to add it to my cart. So after about ten hopeless minutes, I decided to give up on GameStop.

A Rat Profiteering of PS5 Units

So I begrudgingly moved on to Walmart. Although I loathe the company and everything it stands for, they have at least been a semi-reliable PS5 purveyor, doling out their stock in ten-minute intervals.

And, wouldn’t you know it, today was a PS5 restock day for Walmart. With nothing better to do with my time (after all, I didn’t yet have a PS5, and god knows Cyberpunk 2077 is certainly not stealing remarkable amounts of my free time), I figured I would give it the old college try.

During the pre-stock wait, I decided to go through my pregame ritual. I strongly recommend taking the following steps if you want to actually acquire a PS5 in Walmart’s stock frenzy.

  1. Create a Walmart account, and download the Walmart app on your smartphone.
  2. Make sure you are logged into your Walmart account to avoid the soul-crushing loss later on if you are lucky enough to get a PS5 in your cart before you log in. (Logging in later will all but guarantee a loss of the items in your cart.)
  3. Try to only have one payment option and one mailing address attached to this account. Verify the information is up to date and correct while you’re waiting for the stock to drop. This will ensure that even if you need to input the security code, you won’t need to fumble with anything else during the buying process — just accept, verify, review, and finalize.
  4. Have the Walmart site up on both a home computer and the Walmart app on a smartphone. This allows you to spam the refresh button in your browser while also using the app, potentially doubling your chances of success.
  5. If you can add a PS5 to your cart but can’t make the purchase, leave it in the cart and have it at the ready so you can simply complete the transaction once it comes back into stock.
Walmart PS5

For me, the browser route was a bust. As detailed by Half-Glass Gaming’s tireless owner Josh, the first rounds of PS5 consoles were gone in nanoseconds. However, after the first round, the blue “Add to Cart” bubble remained visible and operable on the Walmart phone app. I wasn’t able to actually buy one after they first sold out, but it felt like a promising development, perhaps a way to get slightly closer to victory.

As soon as the second round arrived, I spammed the hell out of that button until I suddenly felt a slight vibration in my hand. Wouldn’t you know it, I suddenly found myself — with heart pounding and mouth dry — with a console in my cart. I put in the security code, reviewed my purchase and confirmed… sold out.


I clicked the checkout button a second time after the “Sold Out” screen sent me back to the item listing. Again I was asked to input the security code, which I did. It then asked me to review my purchase, which I did. And finally it asked me to purchase the item, which, of course, I did. The next moments — between clicking purchase and whatever would come next, whether that would somehow magically be a “purchase accepted” message or, more likely, another heartbreaking “sold out” message — were excruciating. I could feel my body aging years in mere seconds.

But then, suddenly, I was met with a muted, no-frills victory. I had managed to purchase a PlayStation 5. I had caught my white whale.

A Rat Buying a PS5 at Walmart

The clouds parted and the heavens opened up. My purchase was successful, and I am now awaiting the arrival of my PS5. I bought a PlayStation 5! It felt as if I were dreaming. I couldn’t believe that, after such a long, arduous, spiteful, tumultuous journey, it all came to fruition in a mere matter of seconds, and with all of the fanfare of nondescript black text on an otherwise muted white screen.

Was it worth it? Well, I guess we will find out when it arrives. My gut says “maybe” but my rational side says “maybe not.”

Despite all my rage, I might still be a rat in a cage. But this rat has a PlayStation 5, my friends. This rat has a PS5.

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