PS4 Stock Shortages Continue

Andrew MacGregor

Despite press reports to the contrary, it is still hard to find PS4 consoles in stock for £349.99 in the UK


PS4 Stock Shortages Continue

There have been several news articles this week in the national press reporting that the PS4 consoles stock shortages were over, as the console was 'freely available'. This is simply not true. The journalists that make these statements just don't have sufficient data to make these assumptions.

The problem with these news reports is that the journalist writing them don't have a long term or even a short term view of PS4 stock availability. Their statements on stock availability are based entirely on a snapshot in time. Some of them also make the mistake of including overpriced bundles in their 'surveys'.

If the only PS4 bundles GAME has in stock are £480, stock levels are not good!

Before commenting on PS4 stock levels a journalists needs to check what the current stock situation is. To do this they typically do no more than visit a few websites like GAME, Amazon etc to see if the big retailers have PS4 consoles in stock. If they visit say four websites (let's be generous) and they all have stock, they make the assumption that all is good and write their article stating that PS4 consoles are now freely available.

This is a very unscientific approach, as a few minutes later these consoles could be out of stock. Indeed, they could well have been out of stock a few minutes before as well. If this were the case, the journalist has now made the assumption that consoles are freely available when in actual fact, someone looking to buy a PS4 console at £349.99 tomorrow would struggle to find one in stock. Demand is still outstripping supply.

Cross sectional vs Longitudanal studies

In academia this approach to data gathering is called a cross-sectional study. It is good for comparing test subjects at a point in time. In this case all they've done is compared the current stock situation for a set number of retailers at a given time. This doesn't tell us anything about how easy it is to buy a PS4 console at £349.99 even in the short term.

The alternative to a cross-sectional study is a longitudinal study. The longitudinal study gives a long term view of the subject in question. In this case it would tell you that PS4 stock levels in the past few weeks have been very low.

Gathering the data for this study would be quite difficult for a journalist. Assuming the journalist had the required programming skills to develop a system to gather this data, would said journo really have the time to do this? Probably not.

Free PS4 stock history resource for journalists

Fortunately for them does have the data they need to qualify these statements. This data is free for anyone to view in the form of a stock history report. Our stock checking system is constantly checking hundreds of products to see whether they're in stock or not. This data is recorded in our database and shown on a chart which gives a long term overview of how often the product has been in stock over a 7 day period.

Here is an example report for the Amazon PS4 console. At the time of writing Amazon were showing the PS4 console in stock on just one day out of 7. This is just a snapshot, albeit it a 7 day one. Remember, stock availability changes frequently.

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