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Thursday, May 23, 2024

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Get a PlayStation 5

Were you able to buy a PlayStation 5? If so, good for you. If not, well, join the club. Sony’s newest game console has been very difficult to purchase since it was released in November—so much so that folks have resorted to using sniper bots, inside sources, and other shady practices to sidestep the scrum and snag that PS5.

This week, we’re joined by Alan Henry and Saira Mueller from the WIRED video games team and Jeffrey Van Camp from WIRED’s reviews team to talk about the issues keeping PS5 supplies low. They’ll also tell us about their own experiences trying to buy a console. At the end of the show, we share some shopping tips you can use on your own quest to get this year’s most scarce gaming gadget.

Show Notes

Read some advice about how to (maybe) buy a PS5 here. Read more about the scalper bots buying up all the PS5s here.


Saira’s recommendation is to try cryotherapy. Brrr! Alan recommends Discord, which is great for gaming parties. Jeff recommends that you get a snow shovel, because you never know when you might need it. Lauren recommends this CBS guide to how you can help people in Texas during this deadly cold weather. Mike recommends the Vice show Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, now in its third season.

Saira Mueller can be found on Twitter @SairaMueller. Alan Henry is @halophoenix. Jeff Van Camp is @JeffreyVC. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.

Advertising note: WIRED Brand Lab is a creative studio from the publisher of WIRED. The WIRED newsroom is not involved in the creation of Brand Lab content.

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Michael Calore: Lauren.

Lauren Goode: Mike.

MC: Lauren, have you tried to get, well, have you tried to get one of those?

LG: Oh, one of those? Well, I would accept that I'm hearing it's limited to certain groups right now, and it's just really hard to go online and figure out how to get one.

MC: Yeah, I know. I can't believe we waited this long and now there are supply and demand issues.

LG: I know.

MC: All right, well, let's get into this week's show, where we're going to talk about the PlayStation 5.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music]

MC: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I am Michael Calore, a senior editor at WIRED.

LG: And I'm Lauren Goode, a senior writer at WIRED.

MC: We have a full house here today. First, let's welcome WIRED's service editor, Alan Henry. Hello Alan.

Alan Henry: Hi. Hello.

MC: Welcome back to the show. We have you on because Sony's new game console is a big deal, and you know a lot about it. Even though it's only been out for a few months, it's still nearly impossible to get a PS5, and in a moment, we're going to bring in some of our own colleagues who have been trying to get their hands on one with mixed results. But first, Alan, if you would, please tell us what is new about this console and what makes it such a hot commodity?

AH: Well, it's a really great new console in the first PlayStation for like, what? Seven years? I mean, 4K gaming is a thing. The controller is awesome. It has plenty of new titles—not as many as arguably it should have launched with, but there are some great new games for it—and in general, people just wanted a new PlayStation. There was a lot of hype and buildup prior to its launch that made people really, really line up and be like, "Oh, I got to preorder that thing." But as far as why it's such a hot commodity, it's kind of counterintuitive, right? The real reason it's a hot commodity is because it's so difficult to get, and the people who do seem to have them are scalpers who are selling them for above retail price. So there are all these convoluted systems and tools and things you can do to try and score one, or you can head over to Craigslist and spend a whole bunch of money to a shady guy who has like 20 in the back of a van.

LG: So, the scarcity is real, but it's also the scarcity that's pushing demand.

AH: Exactly.

LG: Hmm. Interesting.

MC: So, Alan, do you know anyone who's been able to get a PS5?

AH: Yes. I do know a few people who have been able to get a PS5, and emphasis on the few. That is also not including me, but I haven't really been trying. I said to myself, “I'm not a jump-on-a-console-at-launch kind of person. I'm more like, “Hey, the PS5 is about to come out. Now's a good time for me to buy a PS4.” That's how I shop. So I haven't been part of the rat race, but I have been watching it from afar.

MC: Speaking of the rat race, our very own Jeffrey Van Camp, who edits the WIRED reviews section, is one of those people who's been trying to get a PS5. Jeff, are you there?

Jeffrey Van Camp: Yeah. Hello. Good to be here.

MC: Jeff, please tell us, when did you first start trying to buy one of these things, and how did it go?

JVC: I don't know. There's a good time to really start trying to buy one of these. At first I didn't want one. This kind of goes back to what Alan was saying. I have a 4K TV, but I can do almost everything on it that I can on my PS4. But some friends and family slowly started getting them, the preorders seem to sell out really quick, and I kind of began to get the FOMO.

LG: And when was this Jeff?

JVC: Somewhere around Black Friday, I think I started, which is probably the worst time to start trying to get a PlayStation or really anything. So yeah, I tried. The first place I tried was Best Buy, and of course, being in the pandemic, normally you might think about going to a store, but everything is online this year. So yeah, I tried that, and it was one of the worst buying experiences I've ever had.

MC: How is that?

JVC: The site completely froze. They make you wait, you don't know if you should be refreshing your browser or just waiting for it to pop up. They're like, “PlayStations will drop in a minute here.” There's some dots near where the Add to Cart button is, and then it just kind of stays gray, and you're waiting for it to turn yellow. And then eventually it does, and it says, “Oh, sorry, it's already sold out.”

MC: Did you try any other stores?

JVC: Yeah. So I tried that. I got the app, did a few more drops. Then I began learning more, started going to GameStop, Walmart. Sony does these online queues, so I tried there. The more I tried, the more I failed quicker it seemed, and it just kind of made me want it more.

So I don't know if this is planned. I kind of figured it was all due to Christmas, but January has rolled around and it's still insanely difficult to get. Even after the holiday buzz wore off, by the middle of January, I have multiple Twitter alerts going, I've got Chrome extensions dinging, like during meetings, we could be filming this, and it might go off saying there's a drop coming in 10 minutes. Yeah. It's like failing to get a PlayStation 5 is a regular part of my workweek now.

LG: So, what you're saying is that you started getting dings and alerts on your phone, and you look at it really excited and then say, oh, it's just a vaccine appointment. It's not the PS5.

JVC: Yeah.

LG: Right, right.

JVC: It's not what I want.

MC: All right. Well that all sounds like a nightmare for you, Jeff, and as we know, you're not alone. You're not even alone on our staff, because WIRED's own games editor, Saira Mueller, has also been trying to procure a PS5. Welcome to the show Saira.

Saira Mueller: Hi, happy to be here.

MC: Well, thank you for being on the show. Walk us through this. Why is it so hard to get a PS5 right now, and what has your experience been?

SM: Yeah, it's really hard, I think, for a few reasons, and PlayStation hasn't really exactly said why. There are a lot of theories running rampant on the internet, as you can imagine, and as is kind of typical. A lot of people are saying that Sony is purposely doing this. They are selling every single PlayStation that goes out to market, and that's great for them. There's a lot of PR buzz about the PlayStation right now, which is also good for them.

I think part of it could be pandemic related. There is very much a shortage on a lot of things to do with tech right now, if you think about graphics cards for PCs, so it could be related to that. It could be just a distribution issue. If some of these parts are getting made in parts of the world where factories have shut down right now, maybe they can't make as many as they would have otherwise. So there's not one good answer for that question, unfortunately, and Sony's not speaking to it—and probably smartly so on their part, because they're getting everything they want out of this, I would say.

LG: So what has your personal experience been like in trying to get one of these?

SM: So my personal experience actually started with JVC here. Seeing JVC struggle to get a PS5 was kind of what got me to start trying to get my own PS5.

LG: And JVC, just to be clear for our listeners. That is Jeff Van Camp, who you heard from just a moment ago. OK, continue Saira.

MC: Not the TV brand of yesteryear.

SM: I think it was also a little bit of the social media hype. Around Christmas you would see all these people unboxing PlayStations, and they were just so excited, and it was like this huge thing. Similar to Alan, I wasn't planning on getting one straight away. I was thinking maybe towards the end of the year when Horizon Forbidden West comes out, maybe that's when I'll give it a go and I'll get one. But watching JVC struggle, I was like, you know what, I'm going to try and do this too. Maybe I can get him one, and then he doesn't have to keep trying anymore.

So I didn't start early. I started, I think, around mid-January, and I believe it was because Jeff posted that there was a drop about to happen. So I was like, all right, let's go in this, let's do this, and I made it all the way to the cart. I had it in my cart. I was trying to pay, and it failed because it was like, oh, this one store no longer has any, try this other store. So I tried that store, and it was like, this store no longer has any, try this third store. By the time I tried the third store, it was sold out. So I almost, I was so very close. I almost got one that first try, but I just, just missed out.

JVC: It will even say that there's stock in those stores, but you click and it's just a false alarm. Yeah, I like to complain. Apparently I had been complaining a little too loudly to everybody about my quest.

SM: And it is a quest. It is very much a quest.

LG: Is this the kind of thing where you have to wake up in the middle of the night and have your cursor poised and ready to go on the inventory, or there're back channels of tips about when the next drop is going to happen? How nutty is this getting?

SM: I would say a lot of people did stay up overnight when it first dropped to get in line and to wait, but that's no longer really a thing. Most of the drops tend to happen in the middle of the day, but there are definitely some secret back channels and things, and we can get into that a little bit more later if you would like, but I do have some tips and insights into secret ways people are getting these PlayStations. One of the big problems I'll tease out now is that there are a lot of scalpers and bots, and they're just scooping them all up and then reselling them at much higher prices.

LG: Now, Saira, did you consider temporarily going back to Australia so you could be ahead of the curve from a time zone perspective and getting one that way?

SM: Yeah. I mean, with Covid unfortunately it is very hard to travel back to Australia right now. As many people probably know Australia and New Zealand did Covid very well, and I'm not even worried about my parents. No one wears masks, all restaurants and bars are open, because they're only letting in Australian citizens or permanent residents, and they're limiting the amount of people that can come in every week. I had actually looked at going back to Australia for the holidays, because it's summer over there, and in Seattle it's rainy and cold. It would have cost me $10,000 to go back.

LG: Oh my goodness. That's an expensive PS5.

SM: Exactly. So I don't know. I might as well just buy a bunch of scalped ones for that amount and then resell them at a higher price. So yeah.

MC: All right. Well, let's take a quick break, and when we come back we're going to get to some of those tips that we've been talking about.


MC: OK. So scoring a new console is incredibly difficult, but some people are actually getting them. Maybe they're just lucky. Maybe they know somebody, maybe they know something that we don't, but there have to be ways to tip the odds in one's favor. So, Alan, we'd like to go back to you first, please share with us all of your golden tips on how to score a PS5.

AH: Well, considering I don't have one, my golden tips might be a little bronze, but I'll try anyway. I mean, honestly my best suggestion is to have an inside source. Not somebody inside, like at Sony, obviously, but like a friend who I don't know, works at Walmart or has a friend who works at GameStop or something like that. They will obviously be the first people to know when there's going to be a drop and exactly how many are going to be available at X store or Y location, and maybe if you're really lucky and have a little extra cash, you can convince them to put one aside for you or let you know when they're going to be available so you can actually go get one. Ideally make a network of friends who are all looking for PlayStation's, like Saira and Jeff here.

I guarantee you that unbeknownst to the rest of us, they probably have some kind of suicide pact in which one of them will buy two PlayStation 5, and if the other one didn't get in on it, then they'll just sell the spare to their friend and try and find people that you can do that with. That's my best, best, best advice. Especially if these drops are happening at like 3:00 p.m. Eastern or 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and you have to work like a normal human, then they might have time to sit and refresh something while you don't. That's all I got though. Saira, I'm sure you have tips though. What are your tips?

SM: Yeah, so this is actually quite funny because I remember there was another drop at the start of February and I tried really hard to get one. I think I made it all the way through to the cart again, but I didn't manage to snag one. So I tweeted out this meme about the Walmart site showing that a bunch of PlayStation's will become available at X time, and it's that meme of that guy staring at the computer screen, like avidly just waiting. One of my friends, one of my former coworkers, I'm not going to mention who, and you'll see why in a second but he slid into those DMs and he was like, brah, you should have told me you were looking for a PlayStation 5.

Then he sent me a screenshot of an order that he had, where there were like three PlayStation's that he'd grabbed, and I was like, "Oh my gosh, what is this? Also, did you not buy this for yourself and your friends?" He's like, "No, I've been purchasing like a bunch of them. I purchased like 20 in the past couple of months to flip. Don't hate me." I was just like, mind blown. I can't get one, JVC can't get one. Everyone's struggling. How have you managed to get 20 PlayStation's in the last few months?

MC: Listener, we hate him.

JVC: I am so upset right now.

LG: Was he selling them at a mark-up?

JVC: My face is all red.

SM: He was selling them at a mark-up, yes.

LG: What was the mark-up?

SM: I didn't actually ask him.

AH: Because you didn't want to know.

LG: I was just going to say, either way. I'm seconding what Alan said. OK, please continue.

SM: So he was like, "Well, let me tell you my secrets, little padawan." And I was like, "All right, hit me. I want to hear how you are doing this." He was like, "There are Discord servers, secret Discord servers of insiders who let you know when a drop is about to happen and sometimes they give you these secret links that will put the item directly into your cart. So you don't even have to sit in the line and then you can just check out immediately." So he then sent me these two links, one for the disk version one for the digital edition and was like, give this a go, there's going to be another drop in like five minutes.

So I gave it a go, like you said, went straight into my cart. Unfortunately I was like a little bit late to it because I wasn't checking my messages because it was the middle of the workday so I was working, and by the time I went to do it, it was sold out. But I can confirm that it does work and as he said, he's had 20, so, secrets, secrets, secrets. Yeah.

LG: Is the Discord actually you just tipping people off to the timing or is it sort of coded in such a way that it gives you the advantage because of you're skipping the step of putting it in your cart?

SM: Yeah. So it's a link directly to whichever site it is, and it's just a way to completely skip and have it automatically in your cart.

LG: Got it. OK.

SM: Yeah.

MC: Jeff, did you come across any tips that you felt were worthy enough to be able to pass on to our listeners?

JVC: I didn't have one of those links, that would have been great tip, but I would say if you're going to try it the old fashioned way, the honest way, I guess my tips would be, and again, I've failed to get one for months. So these aren't really worth too much, but signing up for Chrome extension alerts. I got a thing called OctoShop, which let me get things from Best Buy or Walmart, GameStop, whenever they're about to drop some PlayStation's. Wario64, some different PS5 stock alerts on Twitter. You can set those to auto send you notifications. Usually these happen somewhere between Wednesday and Friday each week, middle of the day, 2:00, 3:00 p.m.. Not that I would know, I'm very busy working, but I would say the best tip I would have would be apparently to complain a lot or show your frustration to your friends because I just noticed the other day, my wife was even, I got a ding for a PS5 drop, and I heard a ding from across the room where my wife was working and she had felt so bad for me she was trying to get a PlayStation as well. Had some friends apparently trying as well. So just use your network, whatever network you happen to have.

LG: That's a really heartwarming love story, Jeff. Love in the time of Corona.

JVC: It was very, very sweet. I've I hate bothering, it's already interrupting maybe my day a little bit, opening a tab and clicking refresh a couple times at 2:00 p.m. or whenever it is, but it was very nice of her to do that.

LG: Just to be clear, when we say we're using our networks, we as journalists are not using our networks within the tech industry to get these consoles. I think Jeff and Saira are both talking about their friends networks and people who are just generally hovering on the internet and hanging out on the internet and are able to set up alerts for buying things and that kind of thing.

SM: Yeah, exactly.

AH: So what you're saying is I should not DM the PR lead at Sony and ask him to send me a PlayStation 5?

LG: That is correct. Although, I mean, we do sometimes take loaners, but then we return them in short order.

MC: But at this point, Alan, I would say that probably the best thing to do is delete that DM that you sent a few weeks ago.

AH: I'm going to go unsend that.

MC: We should note that we have a story on WIRED that offers tips about how to snag a PlayStation 5. It's called how to snag a PlayStation 5, good luck, and you can read about it on WIRED and we'll put a link to that story in the show notes for this episode.

LG: OK, so what was actually the result of all of your efforts? Did anyone here on the pod ended up with a PS5?

AH: I'll start because I already alluded to the answer. I do not have a PlayStation 5. I haven't even really been trying because I feel like it's hopeless. Saira, what about you? Did you get one?

SM: Yeah. So this same friend I was talking about actually got a disk edition, which is the edition that I want and it is arriving in a few weeks. So he is shipping it to me and selling it to me at cost. He is not upcharging me for it. So thank you to said friend who I will not name for very obvious reasons.

AH: Very obvious reasons.

MC: And what about you, Jeff?

JVC: I'm actually happy to report a friend who I believe went through standard channels in another state, managed to get one just a couple days ago. At the same time I failed to get one. So I should be getting one this weekend, which is exciting. I don't know if I even want it anymore. It was more fun when I was searching.

SM: I feel you actually, I feel like it was more fun to be part of the game. This became the IRL game of 2021. Now that I've got it locked in, I'm almost like a little bit, I don't know, disappointed. I don't know if that's the right word.

MC: Is there strong replay value on this game?

AH: Absolutely not.

JVC: Yeah. I mean the good news is it should last for seven years.

LG: Right, great. I feel like if you are one of those people who came to the system, and managed to get a PS5 or multiple PS5, as is the case with Saira's friend, that you should now be obligated to put the same effort into getting your elderly or vulnerable neighbor a vaccine shot. You just have to focus. You're like, OK, I have the 20 PS5's stacked up here that I'm selling at a markup. I need to now put some good into the world.

AH: I honestly thought you were about to say, you should put that effort into getting your elderly neighbors a PS5.

LG: I would say that the vaccine is slightly more important than the PS5.

JVC: I would say your skills, the skills I've learned in trying to get a PS5 and it's mostly failing myself, but getting vaccine, at least here in Oklahoma, has been a remarkably similar process, at least in the early stages. Go to a site, wait for a drop, try and schedule an appointment. It's all the same these days.

SM: But the question is, are their alerts that you can set up to be notified when a vaccine drop is about to happen. I feel like the answer to this is no.

LG: And whose grandma has set up the bot? That's what I want to know.

MC: Got to get in those vaccine discords.

AH: Yes, absolutely.

MC: All right. Well, thank you, all three of you for joining us this week. Let's take a quick break and when we come back, we'll do our recommendations.


MC: All right. So now is the portion of the show where we each tell our listeners about a thing that we like, that we think that they would like too. Saira, let's start with you. What is your recommendation?

SM: OK. So my recommendation this week is a little bit off the wall. I tried something yesterday for the first time that I've never done before, and to say it was an experience is an understatement. Obviously given safety guidelines right now, that's most important, but I did cryotherapy yesterday, in which you stand in this, I don't know, box tube thing. This is one of the ones where your head is outside of said box tube thing, but it sprays you with hydrogen. I actually don't remember the specifics of how this works, but it basically cools down your body temperature, like ridiculously, like it can get down to minus 150 degrees, I believe, when I was reading the thing, but you're in there for three minutes and it's supposed to have all of these various health benefits, but even just as an experience, it was very interesting, and I would recommend it just purely for the experience.

MC: How did it make you feel? Like physically.

SM: Cold. Very, very cold,

MC: But was it invigorating?

SM: Yeah, so it was actually funny. So I get like restless leg syndrome sometimes, and I haven't had it for a really long time, but about half an hour after this, I was sitting on the couch watching the Great British Bake-Off actually, and my legs started to feel really like tingly. They were clearly getting worked up or like working through something and it was just interesting to see the effects that it kept having down the road, but coming straight out of it, you feel super tingly, a little bit numb. It's really weird putting on like your clothes because you can't feel anything basically. But yeah, I don't know what the long-term benefits are. I'm going to give it a go again, but it was definitely something. Yes cold, is the short answer to that question.

MC: Nice.

LG: I'm glad that you had a positive experience so far. I will say that one of my favorite Outside magazine profiles in recent years was a profile of Dave Asprey, the person who created Bulletproof Coffee and like the whole Bulletproof brand and the writer went to go visit Bulletproof labs, which is basically this whole bio hacking facility in Santa Monica. While the writer was there, there's a whole section of the labs that's like cryotherapy spa area, and so, they're walking around the labs and Asprey's talking about how great this is, and the writer is there when this 30 something year old guy emerges from the cryotherapy booth and just like boom passes out and face plants.

They literally write, "I'm standing near Bulletproof's cryo chamber when a client, a man in his late thirties passes out during a session, he tumbles out of the booth, torso frosted, face ashen, eyes rolling up into his head." This is not funny. Ultimately the person was OK. From a writing perspective, it's like just imagine being that writer there at that moment when that happens. I'd like to imagine the public relations team behind the scenes just losing their minds, freaking out that this is happening. But yeah, it's totally interesting stuff. Once again, I'm going to come back to Saira, I'm glad that you were OK. You did not tumble out of the cryotherapy booth having passed out from the experience.

SM: Thank you. Yes. No, thankfully that did not happen to me. I actually, I did it at the lowest setting to start off with, since it was my first time and not to brag or anything, but she said I did really well and that maybe I should go up another level next time. So maybe, fingers crossed it won't happen, but maybe that'll happen to me next time.

LG: Let's hope not.

SM: Let's hope not, yeah.

MC: Level up the chill. Alan, what is your recommendation?

AH: Well, I swear I didn't come up with this because we were talking about it, but my recommendation is Discord. I have actually been having way more fun in Discord, joining various Discords based on different interests recently than I could ever have hoped. I joined a Discord a long, long time ago because it was just a cute little way to keep track of friends and chat with them from time to time. For those people who aren't familiar with Discord, but are, for example, maybe familiar with Slack, it's Slack for gamers, but Discord also comes with a bunch of additional features that are focused, not on collaborating on work, but instead having fun together. So there are voice channels that you dip in and your mic is automatically on and you just chat with somebody. It's kind of like having an actual phone call without the anxiety.

Then you can host watch parties, you can share your screen, you can stream whatever video game you're playing or whatever you're doing on your computer to other people who can then jump in and keep it and watch and hang out with you. I've seen people stream games. I've seen people stream art. I've seen people just stream like their writing process. It's a lot of fun and there are Discords for lots of different interests, entertainment properties, whatever you might be into.

MC: Nice, and is there a client?

AH: Oh yes. Yes. I mean, you can use it on the web for sure, but it is also available Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, free, free, super free. Although they will nag you to buy Nitro, which gives you some extra perks depending on the servers that you join. But give it a try first before you decide you want to spend $100 a year on the freemium stuff.

MC: OK. All right. Well thank you. Jeff, what is your recommendation?

JVC: Yeah, I thought I would have a, I was thinking of some fun tech I could do, but really the only thing I've wanted and desired this whole past week has been a snow shovel. So I've decided that no matter where you live, whether you're in California, the desert, Texas, anywhere, I'm in Oklahoma, you need a snow shovel. So we've gotten about close to a foot of snow in the last few days or last week or so, and all I've had is a rake. So I've literally had to rake parts of my front porch and a portion of my driveway, which is a particularly futile way to get rid of snow. So they're all sold out here during this snow storm, but with the climate the way it is going, I recommend everybody get whatever the first snow shovel you see is. Make sure it has a good lip at the top.

SM: IS this going to be the new game of 2021, snow shovel buying?

JVC: Getting a snow shovel. 2020 was great. Get the toilet paper, get the Clorox, everything.

AH: The masks.

JVC: Yeah. Get the masks. Now we're into snow shovels.

LG: Yeah. We need the secret Discord links to snow shovels.

JVC: That would be great. Do you have those, Saira?

SM: I don't, unfortunately, maybe I need to do some searching on Discord and find those servers to join. I'll pass on the secret links to you JVC.

MC: Lauren, what would you like to share with us?

LG: Well, to Jeff's note, I know that we've had a lot of fun talking about getting expensive gadgets, like the PS5 during this show, but there is deadly frigid weather in the Southern half of the United States this week, and in particular, it's hitting Texas really hard. People are freezing and it has led to people dying. The electricity is out, it's incredibly challenging. So I am going to link to a list from CBS in the show notes of different ways that you can help Texas residents right now, whether that's donating to mutual aid funds or other national aid organizations, food banks, different disaster relief organizations, even helping animals in need, as well as journalists, go check out papers like the Texas Tribune, which is a nonprofit newspaper. Journalists are also working through really challenging conditions to tell some of the stories of what's going on right now. So we'll link to that in the show notes and that is my recommendation for this week.

MC: Nice.

LG: Mike, what's your recommendation this week?

MC: I'm going to recommend a television show. It's a show that we have been enjoying over the last couple of weeks. It's called Hamilton's Pharmacopeia, it originally aired on Vice for the first two seasons. The third season is out now, just dropped earlier this year. So you can find the first two seasons on Hulu and the third season is available on Amazon Prime video. So it's a show about drugs. Basically the host Hamilton Morris is a chemist. He's a working chemist who has been obsessed with psychoactive substances his whole career. So he spends each episode diving into the history and the culture around a specific substance. He also tries to synthesize it. So he gets together with people who make things like DMT, LSD, PCP, ketamine, you name it, he's done a show on it.

He gets together with somebody who makes it, usually these people are working outside of a law and they talk about how hard it is to synthesize it and they also talk about some of the effects. In some cases, he actually adjusts the drug on camera. It's a fun show. It's also a very serious show. It's also a very nerdy show. I was really surprised at how much you learn about organic chemistry watching this show, and also how much you learn about drug policy around the world, because he travels to different countries to talk about some of the substances. So I can highly recommend it. Highly recommend it. Hamilton's Pharmacopeia, streaming near you.

LG: Excellent.

MC: Yeah. All right. Well that was a fun show. Thank you to Saira, to Alan and to Jeff for joining us and talking about your PS5 experiences.

JVC: Thanks for having me.

AH: Thank you.

SM: Thanks for having me.

MC: Of course, and thank you all for listening. If you have feedback for us, you can find all of us on Twitter. Just check the show notes. This show is produced by Boone Ashworth, and we will be back next week. Goodbye.

[Gadget Lab outro theme music]

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