Black PS5 sales cancelled, while customers clamor for refunds

A black PS5 with a retro twist launched last week, but it may have been too good to be true after all

Black PS5 pre-orders
(Image credit: sup3r5.com)

Since the PS5 was announced, fans have been torn over Sony's departure from the traditional black box to the curvy, white aesthetic, so the news that a black PS5 console is going on sale is cause for celebration – but we also have concerns.

After a PS2-themed black PS5 concept made headlines last month, the redditor who posted the images announced that the black PS5 console would be available for purchase, with a limited run that opens for pre-orders today. It all seems a bit too good to be true, and we have a few unanswered questions.

Update: Just days after going on sale, the website now features a notification that the release of black PS5 console and controllers have been postponed, and that customers will be getting a full refund. 

The site's Twitter account has been deactivated but before it was shut down, it tweeted out (via TechRadar) that  the team behind the endeavour "began receiving credible threats to their safety.

"We take these threats seriously. We aren't willing to risk the safety and well-being of our team, or the potential impact this would bring on your order."

The legal section on the site has been removed, customers can't seem to delete their payment details from the site (which they were encouraged to save prior to orders going live, to get through checkout quickly), and the redditor who started all of this and who is affiliated with the company has also deleted their account.

Before going dark, no additional details were offered on the alleged threats received, or how it was discerned that they were credible, or if law enforcement was contacted.

Over on Twitter, some people are reporting getting notification of a refund, while others are still waiting, and getting understandably worried. 

While we don't have all the facts, here at T3, we never heard back from our email enquiry last week, and the abruptness with which all of this has happened hasn't done anything to lessen our scepticism around the issue, but hopefully everyone will get their refunds. 

Huge price increase

sup3r5.com sprang up out of the blue, just over a week ago, hot on the heels of the original reddit post that received a surge of positive feedback. People loved the PS2-themed black PS5 makeover, and after a lot of wishful thinking in the comments, the OP shared the URL, saying:

"Since everyone seems to like this design so much, we've decided to make a *super* limited run of these available for people. We're finishing up the site this week, once it's ready I'll share it here."

The black PS5 run will be limited to just 304 consoles initially (a nod to PS2 launch date apparently) but the Twitter account for the newly created brand has already said that it can increase the number of units available, so it seems that moving inventory takes precedence over any kind of meaningful homage. As expected, this will have a knock-on effect on lead time.

The consoles and DualSense controller can be bought separately, with the PS5 Digital Edition coming in at $649 (approx. £480/ AU $620), the standard edition at $749 (£553/ AU$967), and the controller at $99 (£73/ AU$128). 

That's a pretty steep markup on the official price of the unaltered console and controller, which retail for $399 / £359 / €399 / AU$599 for the PS5 Digital Edition, $499 / £449 / €499 / AU$749.95 for the standard edition, and $69.99 / £59.99 / €69.99 / AU$109.

What's more, you need to pay for your black PS5 order upfront, and it won't be shipped for a few months, although you can cancel before it ships, and get a full refund according to the brand.

No warranty

Because the black PS5 consoles are modded, the site offers no warranty, as you'd find with reputable retailers, so it's the bog standard Sony cover only, and due to the disassembly of the DualSense for its makeover, Sony's warranty will be void for the peripheral.  

While the consoles ship internationally, with higher costs expected for those outside of the US, the models are for the American market, so you'll need to use an adaptor to plug in your console if you live anywhere outside the region. And you can forget a return policy; returns are made at the site's discretion, "such as if your product arrives with defects related to the conversion process." You can read more about that over on the FAQ.

No returns policy

More worryingly, with no established track record, or pertinent information about the organisation, promises of refunds don't really mean much. We wouldn't be happy handing over $650 for something that won't ship for months, to a company that materialised out of the ether off the back of a reddit concept post, and trusting that we'll get the product, or get a refund if we change our minds, and we'd advise you to have a good think if you're considering doing so.  

While modding consoles isn't anything new, having such a sizeable inventory of a system that is proving almost impossible to get hold of thanks to scalpers and their bots snapping up inventory casts further doubt in our mind.

There's speculation that the team behind the black PS5 of this is made up of scalpers trying to find an avenue to offload stock, as gamers have been avoiding paying over the odds prices for the PS5, leaving them with hundreds of consoles they can't shift. 

The credentials of the outfit are also under scrutiny, with Twitter users asking what kind of experience it has in console customisation, as all we have to go on so far is a reddit post, and "pre-production design" images on the website.

With a 54k strong waiting list, it seems that people are eager to spend their money on the special edition black PS5 console, but given the lack of information and assurances from the website, we would advise steering clear and sticking to established retailers to ensure you get proper cover for your new console, as well as hardware support, customer service, and the ability to return it in case anything goes wrong.

A $250 markup on the retail price is huge, but if you don't mind taking the risk, or can afford to splash the cash without worrying about such things, then you won't mind the issues clouding the console.

T3 has reached out to sup3r5.com for comment, and for answers to basic questions gamers should probably have before committing to making such an expensive purchase. At the time of writing, we've yet to receive a response. We'll update this article if we hear back from them.

At the moment, pre-orders open on Friday, January 8 in North America at 12PM PST/ 3PM EST, and other regions on Saturday, January 9 at 12PM PST/ 3PM EST/ 8PM GMT. 

If you's prefer to grab your PS5 from a known retailer, check out our PS5 stock guide.

Shabana Arif
Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's Tech and Gaming News Editor, and has been writing about (and playing) video games for years. Her pile of shame is huge, but only because there are so many games, and so little time; she prefers to think of it as video game tapas, which explains a lot. She loves RPGs and zombie games, and exhaustively researches romance options. For science.