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PlayStation Portal was launched on November 15 and quickly sold out in just a few days. Consequently, it has been a waiting game for fans interested in giving the handheld a spin. For those in the UK, that wait may not be long as the PlayStation website suggests that the product may be in stock today.

Although on direct.playstation.com the product is Currently Unavailable, there is a message just below the Release Date that says “We’re working hard to make more stock available. Please check back on Wednesday 22nd November”.

Unlike the PlayStation UK store, the US version has no specific date when the product will be available. Those interested in making a purchase are told to “check back early December for more details on stock availability”.

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As a result of high demand for the product, Sony has placed “a limit of 1 remote player per order”. In other words, whenever it becomes available, you can only order one product at a time. The PlayStation Portal is not an independent handheld like the PSP. It must be used with the PS5, allowing users to remotely play the games on their PS5 over WI-FI.

Since PlayStation Portal is not designed to be an independent handheld gaming console, its use case will definitely be limited. Perhaps, it is just another strategy used by Sony to further push the demand and sales of their PS5 console.

As of November 9 this year, Sony has sold over 46.6 million PS5 consoles. Although quite impressive compared to its closest rival Microsoft which has only sold 21 million units of Xbox Series X and Series S, it is still a long shot from equaling the sales number of the PS4 which sold 117.02 million units in its lifetime.

To date, Sony’s best-selling console is still PS2. The console sold 158.7 million units in its lifetime. Only the PS4 has come closest to beating that record. Unless something changes in the next few years, the PS5 with all its hype may well be Sony’s worst-sold console (not handheld, a record held by PlayStation Vita).

The shortage of the PlayStation Portal is attributed to scalpers

Scalpers have been blamed for the shortage of the PlayStation Portal. They also played a role in the shortage of the PS5 when it was first launched. What these scalpers do is purchase the products and list them for sale or other e-commerce platforms at inflated prices.

On direct.playstation.com, PlayStation Portasl is listed for $199.99 / €219.99 / £199.99 in the US, Europe, and the UK. Scalpers mop up these products from the PlayStation Store and list them for sale elsewhere (including eBay) for as high as $329 (over a 50% hike in the original price). This makes it harder for those who need the product for use to get them.

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Sony has tried to curb the activities of scalpers by limiting the number of orders to one at a time. However, the effect has not been profound. I can imagine that these scalpers will beat the system by simply using multiple accounts to purchase these products.

What is not clear is how many of the products Sony initially had in stock prior to launch. The only way to beat the activities of scalpers is to make the stock massively available on the PlayStation Store (and partner retailers) such that anyone who wants it can always get it. That way, scalpers will be stuck with the products they have amassed. Sony should have learned this lesson from the events of the PS5 shortage.

There are other outrageous price listings for the PlayStation Portal. According to VGC, one seller listed the product for £400, a 100% hike in the original price. The action of scalpers will likely not go away anytime soon. However, having enough stock prior to launch will go a long way to curb the madness.

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Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.

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