Finding a PS4 in stock is still hard on New Years Eve, with PlayStation 4 availability trackers showing that PS4 bundle deals seem to be the only way to get hold of the elusive console.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, finding a Xbox One in stock is actually very easy, and Microsoft has publicly stated it's been trying to keep Xbox One availability high enough to meet demand.
Several months ago, both Microsoft and Sony stated they intended on manufacturing about one million consoles per month in order to meet consumer demand, and then they'd adjust based upon the reaction. Two days after the PlayStation 4 launch day, Sony sold more than 2.1 million units worldwide, although Microsoft started to catch up quickly with its Xbox One sales numbers.
Although Sony hasn't said anything about adjusting their manufacturing rate, Playstation UK Managing Director Fergal Gara says it will be a "couple of months" until PlayStation 4 availability levels are able to meet demand, and it'll become easier to find a PS4 in stock. Some reports even claim that "much of the restocks and shipments are being prioritized for the United States." It's not like they can do much better, since both the Xbox One and PS4 are being manufactured by the same companies such as Foxconn.
If you don't mind paying a price premium, or buying a PS4 bundle deal, the good news is that you can find a PS4 in stock right now via GameStop, Amazon, and several other websites (the Radio Shack PS4 bundle, which we previously recommended, is now out of stock). Better yet, the minimum price is starting to get closer to the MSRP of $399.99.
The day after Christmas, standalone PlayStation 4 availability was limited to either PS4 bundle deals starting at around $700, and most of them were bad deals. Even standalone consoles were ridiculously marked up all the way to $600 (Needless to say, the PlayStation 4 bundles back then were a much better price considering what you were getting for the extra $100). Just a few minutes ago, I looked for PS4 eBay deals and found a Buy It Now for $475 with free shipping. That's actually better than what I saw on Amazon, which has the standalone PS4 in stock for $530 plus $3.99 shipping, although eBay reports the average trending price is closer to $516.37.
Now the GameStop PS4 bundle deals are in stock as of the writing of this article. While the PlayStation 4 Epic Bundle doesn't release until January 2, 2014, this $749.93 PlayStation 4 bundle includes CoD: Ghosts, NBA 2K14, Assassin's Creed 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall, a PlayStation Plus card, and one extra DualShock 4 controller. In this case you're getting your money's worth. If you assume the games are worth $60 each (although you can find them for cheaper easily), the card is $50, and controller is $60, that means the standalone PS4 console is being sold for right about $399.99, which is what it's supposed to be.
GameStop also has a refurbished option in stock for $609.95, opening up another PS4 shopping option. Assuming that the shortage continues, a refurbished PlayStation 4 will likely have any previously existing PS4 error issues and glitches fixed, and the warranty would still be good. Also, if you just want just the console you might be able to buy the expensive PS4 bundle deal and then return the games inside a GameStop store, or even get store credit for unopened games at places like Walmart.
So what does all this mean for those scrutinizing PS4 availability trackers? It seems obvious that finding a PS4 in stock for a reasonable, or normal, $399.99 pricing is likely to happen within a week or two. So, unless you want to buy a PlayStation 4 bundle deal right now, I'd suggest waiting until 2014 rolls around when supply catches up with demand. What do you think?