Well that didn’t take long. It turns out the big Black Friday doorbuster sale people were looking for this year wasn’t for a Furby, but for an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Yet in spite of no retailers running a Black Friday sale for either of the new consoles, Black Friday sales results still show Microsoft’s Xbox One sold out, as well as Sony’s PlayStation 4. The sales craze in North America comes just as Sony launches the PS4 in the European Union (EU).
Searches at Kmart, Walmart, Best Buy and even Sears turned up not a single Xbox One or PS4 halfway through Black Friday. That left would-be holiday buyers to either hold out hope for new hardware inventory in the weeks ahead, or head to eBay. Following a solid showing at E3, and having a $399 price tag that was $100 lower than the Xbox One, Sony’s PS4 was largely expected to be in high demand. As a result, seeing the PS4 sold out on Black Friday isn’t completely surprising. Seeing the Xbox One sold out at all those retailers, complete with its $499 price not discounted for Black Friday, is more of an eyebrow-raiser.
Kmart’s website still shows both next-gen consoles, but neither is available in a stand-alone or bundled capacity. Nor are the PS4 or Xbox One available at Kmart for in-store pickup in most, if not all, locations. Games are still available for both platforms, but they’ll just be expensive paperweights with no console on which to play them.
With the Xbox One sold out at Walmart retail stores as well, that Black Friday sales rush has impacted Walmart online orders as well, with the website clearly saying Microsoft’s next-gen console is out of stock. Sony’s PlayStation 4 was also affected, as Walmart stores and its website also show the PS4 sold out after Black Friday shoppers hit the stores starting on Thanksgiving. Walmart is capitalizing on the consoles being sold out in both cases by offering pre-orders for the next wave, but those may go fast as shoppers look toward Cyber Monday Xbox One sales or Cyber Monday PS4 deals.
Yet sales for both next-gen consoles are brisk, to say the least, so there’s no motivation to provide any Xbox One or PS4 sales any time soon. If all retailers are sold out of Xbox One and PS4 units, why discount the next wave of hardware? It likely won’t happen this year, and experts have already predicted that discounts on either console may not even happen for Black Friday 2014, either.
Which keeps the apparently fruitless search continuing at retailers this year. Best Buy, America’s largest electronics retailer, also shows the Xbox One sold out and PS4 gone completely, with web searches for both drawing blanks. Best Buy’s Xbox One bundle and even its standalone console are both sold out at Best Buy, and the same goes for Sony’s PS4. Even Amazon, which is bound to have a flurry of Cyber Monday deals this year, currently shows the Xbox One sold out although games and accessories are still readily available. Likewise, Amazon’s stock of PS4s is completely gone, with no indication about when Sony’s next-gen console will be back in stock. As you’ll see from either of those links, each console can be found on Amazon on sale by third parties, but they’re both going for a significant markup.
So with the Xbox One sold out and Sony’s PS4 sold out as well after Black Friday, shoppers are essentially left with four options. First, they can head to eBay, where the consoles are available but for a price premium. Second, they can pre-order from Amazon using the links above and hope that the next wave of consoles hits in time for the holidays. Third, they can stalk their local retailers on an almost daily basis until they hear the Xbox One and PS4 are back in stock. Or fourth, they can just wait to get a next-gen console until after the holidays. In many cases, that last option may be the lest stressful and most practical.