Although there is plenty of excitement surrounding Sony’s PS5 console, the company’s next-gen launch is already off to a rocky start. After its announcement event, preorders for the PS5 began on Wednesday. That’s a day earlier than Sony originally said they would start.
Much of the issue can be attributed to retailers going rogue and mysteriously opening up their order pages without notice. As a result, many people eagerly waiting for Thursday never got a chance to preorder a console.
Sony tried to clear the air on Saturday by updating customers via the official PlayStation Twitter account. It said, “Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that. Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder—retailers will share more details.”
Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that.
Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder – retailers will share more details.
And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/h1TaGsGBun
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 19, 2020
Hopefully retailers will handle it more professionally this time around. It will be very interesting to see how the company approaches the situation. So far, the entire preorder process has been a disaster.
Making matters more confusing is the fact that Sony promised that it would avoid a rushed preorder situation. Eric Lempel, the worldwide marketing head for PlayStation, said in July, “It’s safe to say, we’ll let you know when pre-orders will happen. It’s not going to happen within a minute’s notice.”
Ultimately, that’s exactly what unfolded. On Wednesday, Sony tweeted that preorders would begin on Thursday. That window was already pretty tight, but it still gave consumers a chance to prepare. Walmart then threw a curveball by opening its PS5 preorders just two hours later. Other retailers followed and the rest is history.
At this point, it remains unclear how many consoles will be added to the preorder queue. Sony also hasn’t said if those units will still ship on launch day. Retailers like Amazon are even warning customers who got to preorder a PS5 on Wednesday that it may not arrive until after the console’s launch. That’s most likely because they don’t know how many units they’ll receive. Other retailers are canceling some preorders altogether—a worst-case scenario for many gamers.
Good and Bad
In all honesty, this is a good problem for Sony to have. It means that there is still plenty of demand for its new console. On the flip side, consumers who are frustrated with the preorder process and are on the fence about which next-gen console to get might decide to choose the Xbox Series X instead.
Microsoft has set up a much smoother preorder operation for its console. It will open preorders at a specific time (11:00 a.m. EST) on September 22. Retailers will honor that schedule. Although this isn’t a guarantee that gamers will be able to get their hands on a preordered unit, it gives everyone a fair shot.
Those hoping to get a PS5 will likely be left to guess and refresh retailer websites until the console launches.