Exclusive: Target PS5 restock scheduled for Thursday – what time and how to get it

Thursday update: The Target PS5 restock is scheduled for this morning, Thursday, March 11, according to internal communications from multiple employees, and TechRadar can confirm that stores are brimming with PS5 Disc stock in inventory.

"We have 40 of PS5 in back", a Target employee who wishes to remain anonymous told TechRadar on Wednesday night, hours before the scheduled console drop. Stressing that stores will vary, he noted, "But we only have two PS5 Disk and two Xbox Series X on hand."

This backs up our earlier reporting, starting on Sunday, that detailed the fact that Target stores were amassing PS5 and Xbox consoles to go live sometime this week. The new information – critical to finding these hard-to-buy consoles that sell out in minutes – was first dug up by YouTuber Jake Randall, who specializes in PS5 and Xbox Series X restock videos and live streams. So far he's been ironclad with inside information from top retailers in the US.

When is the Target PS5 restock?

When is Target PS5 restock? We know the scheduled date, but Target's restock time is never part of the communications. In fact, someone at the online store set one of the 'Ship it' buttons live on Tuesday morning, fooling everyone into thinking that the console was in stock – no one actually bought it two days ago.

Two weeks ago – a Thursday morning very much like today – the Target PS5 restock happened in the morning at exactly 7:47am EST. And that's the same across all regions on the US, so the time was 6:47am CST / 5:47am MST / 4:47 PST. That doesn't mean it'll be this same time on Thursday, however. It could be earlier or later. There's also an outside chance that Target reschedules this if stores haven't met inventory goals. That's rare.

Important to know: Sometimes one console will goes live before the other, as Target staggers the rollout by 15 to 30 minutes.

Our alert will look like this (from two weeks ago):

TechRadar confirmed that Target employees have been preparing for a PS5 restock for this week. We know Xbox Series X restock was also being prepped for the same online-only ordering process, employees tell us, though inventory for that console and the PS5 Digital Edition is lower than PS5 Disc in some stores.

PS5 restock

These boxes contain PS5 and Xbox Series X, according to Target employees who sent us a series of photos (Image credit: Target employee)

This isn't the time Target employees demystified the PS5 restock date and inventory situation for us. We got an update from several stores from both the workforce and eagle-eyed customers. 

"We have roughly 8 Xbox consoles and 22 PS5 consoles," we were told on Sunday in a direct message on Twitter by another Target employee who wishes to remain anonymous. Again, across three Target stores, employees told us that there are many more PS5 Disc Editions – and very few to zero PS5 Digital Editions for the impending Target restock.

Tips to get the Target PS5 restock

Critical: The Target employees have stressed to us not show up at stores to order either console. These are online-only orders with an in-store pickup option. Essentially, Target doesn't want throngs of people showing up to roam the aisles.

Pro tip: Target does online-only orders, but allows for in-store pickup. This means some stores, especially those in big cities, will run out more quickly. Try to adjust your pickup location if your nearest store runs out.

New information: We've also learned that not all stores will carry the next-gen consoles. Some sorts have "opted out" of receiving new shipments since launch, employees told us. It may be not willing to deal with the madness of customers flocking to Target stores for their in-store and curbside pickup orders.

Target uses its local stores for next-gen console purchases, and it doesn't ship from regional warehouses directly to consumers, like we see with just about every other retailer in the US. This means it's harder for scalpers to buy up inventory nationwide.

We initially heard that the PS5 restock was this week, to be as soon as Monday from our Target warehouse sources, but as late as Thursday from others. That left open the possibility it could be later in the week, which is exactly what we're seeing. It's up to Target corporate headquarters to make the call to store managers.

Because the the many Target employees who talked to us, and the customers who sent us a flurry of kiosk photos, are from different parts of the US, this is destined to be a wider nationwide restock when it happens.

We saw something similar exactly two weeks ago when both the PS5 and Xbox Series X were sold online for in-store pickup. The consoles only lasted a few minutes before Target completely ran out of stock. Certain regions in the US held out longer.

The good news is it wasn't as hard to get ahold of either console compared what people went through during the Walmart and Best Buy restocks late last week. The Target website and PS5 and Xbox Series X ordering process requires a couple of tries to add the consoles to the cart, but it's fairly easy to complete the purchase.

Not every store will have this restock. TechRadar went to visit the Herald Square store in Manhattan, and employees there said they don't often carry the PlayStation 5. Instead the larger Harlem location was suggested for the next PS5 restock. So it may be available on a store-by-store basis.

Based on our reporting, calling Target stores might not produce any answers regarding console stock. Their main telephone line includes an automated message machine that insists they don't give out PS5 and Xbox restock information. That tells you something about the volume of calls they're receiving.

TechRadar also has several photos of boxes in the Target backroom showing Xbox Series X and PS5 inventory. We initially withheld those pictures until we could ensure there were no markings that could be traced back to our sources.

The Target PS5 and Xbox restock won't be alone

We saw limited PS5 and Xbox Series X restock this week from Costco on Tuesday morning, a major push for console bundles from GameStop Tuesday afternoon, and a rather easy-to-acquire bundle from ANTonline on Wednesday. Thousands of people were able to finally get the console through our alerts.

Best Buy PS5 restock

Best Buy warehouse on Monday night. Photo provided exclusively to TechRadar. Alterations have been made to protect the identity of our source. (Image credit: Best Buy employee)

However, we may not be done after today. Best Buy is amassing more PS5 and Xbox inventory right now, according to the photos we're getting from its warehouses on Monday. Again, we've been provided images and have edited out UPC codes and signs on walls that could be traced back to our sources.

While Target is scheduled for Thursday, we don't have an official date for Best Buy just yet. Instead, we know the store's pattern: it's 3-for-3 for launching next-gen console restock on Fridays. Will it give us a fourth – full-month – helping? That's what we're going to look out for on Friday afternoon, the usual time for Best Buy restock.

Target PS5 inventory showed up in kiosks

Here's another tell that consoles are coming: Target customers nationwide found PS5 inventory show up in kiosks on Sunday night ahead of the expected sale. Twitch streamer MyGuyMcFly snapped and sent a photo to TechRadar, seen below, showing 18 PS5 consoles in stock at a local Target in Minnesota, suggesting the store had at least some inventory at the very start of the week.

PS5 restock

(Image credit: MyGuyMcFly)

Even more PS5 consoles are stockpiled at a Target in Austin, Texas, with customer Esteban reaching out to us on Twitter to share a photo in a direct message. 

"I went to my local Target a few minutes ago and they have some in stock," he told us on Sunday night. The screen shows 25+ PS5 consoles on hand and 41 in the back. None were being sold just yet. He noted, "For PS5 Digital Edition, they only have 6, so I’m most likely aiming for the Disc version."

PS5 restock Target inventory screen

(Image credit: Esteban)

What can you do to prepare for the Target PS5 restock?

You can do two things today. Check the stores below and receive alerts from our PS5 restock Twitter tracker.

It'll look like:

  • 3. Set up payment and address information ahead of time

You can actually head to all four PS5 and Xbox restock pages right now. They're not always listed on the Target homepage or within its search results, but they maintain the same landing page.

$399 PS5 Digital Edition at Target – in stock soon

$499 PS5 Disc Edition at Target – in stock soon

It's not always checking out the quickest that does the trick (although being on time for a PS5 restock helps greatly). It's about making the most attempts to put the next-gen console in your cart. Adding your payment information and shipping address to your account ahead of time allows you to SPAM that add to cart button and check out just a bit soon sooner. People have found luck using Apple Pay purchasing.

  • 3. Check for PS5 restock yourself – these are the 12 trusted stores

Check these stores for PS5

  1. Amazon: PS5 | PS5 Digital Edition – always check for surprise stock
  2. GameStop: PS5 | PS5 Digital Edition – great source due to affordable bundles that stay in stock longer
  3. Walmart: PS5 | PS5 Digital Edition – just went out of stock Thursday
  4. Sony Direct: PS5 | PS5 Digital Edition
  5. Target: PS5 |PS5 Digital Edition 
  6. Best Buy: PS5 | PS5 Digital Edition – in stock Friday
  7. B&H Photo: PS5 |PS5 Digital Edition
  8. Sam's Club: PS5 | PS5 Digital Edition
  9. Newegg: PS5 | PS5 Digital Edition
  10. Costco: PS5
  11. Adorama: PS5 
  12. Antonline: PS5

PS5 has been nearly impossible to find in stock for more than a few minutes every time stores restock the Sony console. We're finding the same can be said about the Xbox Series X. Both Sony and Microsoft launches their respective consoles in November 2020 and haven't been able to manufacturer enough to meet demand.

Stores like Target, Walmart and Best Buy routinely add new stock to their stores and the crush of people coming to their sites often crashes the pages. Four months after the initial launches, it's still a burden to buy a next-gen console, even after months of customers constantly trying their luck.

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