It’s that time of that year again. As this historic year draws to a close, Google rolls out its annual and coveted “Year in Search” list – unveiling the most searched items and yes it includes PlayStation 5 being a more sought-after item than the toilet paper.
While it may feel like it was a long time ago, the “great toilet paper armageddon” happened last March and is actually still on a roll as of November. For some strange reason, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a stimulus for the majority of people to hoard toilet paper (among other essentials of course). The hoarding went as far as to entire aisles empty as shoppers carted out shopping carts full of toilet paper.
This toilet paper armageddon, however, was no match for the jaw-dropping demand for Sony’s next-gen console. According to Google Trends, “PlayStation 5” ended up as the tenth most searched item from the site and was the front-runner under the “Where to buy” category. This was followed by toilet paper, facemasks and Microsoft’s rival console: the Xbox Series X.
While this may seem as an achievement at first, showing to the world that Sony’s gaming consoles are still as popular as ever, PS5 being at the top of the “Where to buy” category revealed the harrowing reality that Sony has failed to keep up to the demands of the gaming community with their latest release.
The PlayStation 5 launch was its biggest console launch to date, something Sony has been quick to acknowledge. At the same time news of PS5 shortages (and even Xbox Series X shortages) were widespread across the internet. Even Google Analytics suggests that the top 5 related queries for PS5 included inquiries for restock, pre-order and even retail stores.
To get a better grasp of how crazy was the demand for PS5 was, according to Google Analytics, it only took one week for PS5 to become the most searched item under the “where to buy” category. As shown in the table below, on dates November 1-7, “Where to buy PS5” only had an interest of 5 and immediately jumped to 100 approaching launch week in the US.
Locally, however, neither the PS5 nor Xbox Series managed to become one of Google’s most searched items. While chaos brewed during PS5’s pre-order phase last month, the December 11 launch was relatively calm. Unlike in the US and UK which was plagued with stock shortages, long lines and overnight camping on retailers. (Read: The PlayStation 5’s Philippine launch was surprisingly subdued)
With reports of retailers not being able to restock the PS5 until 2021, the demand for Sony’s latest gaming console will persist for the coming weeks. Exclusive titles including Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Astro’s Playroom and even popular third-party titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and even the recent release of Cyberpunk 2077, will likely help push demand for the console even further.
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