By Adam Hood
Between Sony and Microsoft, Sony was the last to reveal the price and the release date of their console. However, despite all the waiting fans have done, and despite Sony said people would have plenty of notice, the pre-orders were anything but smooth.
Eric Lempel, the worldwide marketing head of PlayStation, had initially assured people that they would not be surprised by the date of pre-orders and that there would be plenty of notice.
However, on the 16th September, right after their Digital Showcase in which Sony confirmed the price and release date, they sent out a tweet saying, “PS5 pre-orders will be available starting as early as tomorrow at select retailers.” The tweet gave no information about how gamers would go about pre-orders or who were the select retailers.
After the initial tweet, people had to then try and find information following Sony’s tweet, but they could not be prepared for what happened next. Even though pre-orders were not supposed to go live until the morning of the 17th, individual retailers began their listing pre-orders much earlier than anticipated. Popular UK retailer GAME started its pre-orders as early as 1:30 am.
So with hordes of people flooding various websites, problems quickly began to emerge. The consoles were selling out before most folks couldn’t even pay for them, which led to error messages when they tried to checkout.
Some have received emails telling them that they would not receive their consoles till after the release date. So it was safe to say that the pre-orders were a disaster.
Because of this, most people on team Xbox were rightfully on edge about Microsoft’s Series X and Series S pre-orders.
And despite Microsoft poking fun at Sony’s pre-order fiasco on Twitter, and building hype with its acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the new Xbox pre-orders also ended up as a disaster.
Microsoft had previously announced on 9th September that their pre-orders would begin on 22nd September.
Still, while it was less confusing, it was not any less of a mess. When Microsoft announced the date for pre-orders, it also gave directions to websites where the orders could be placed, such as Amazon, GAME, Very, and AO.com.
They announced you could also purchase it from their own website, and because everyone knew the date and time the pre-orders went live, people were ready to order.
However, because everyone knew where tp be, within an hour and a half after pre-orders went live, they still sold out immediately.
Ultimately this was not surprising as most expected it to happen to both console makers. It was already expected that the stock of the new devices would be limited, even before any potential Covid-19 production woes.
Still, it seems no one, websites and manufactures alike, truly anticipated the volume of people to attempt to pre-order.
One other interesting piece of news to come from the whole debacle came when people tried to order the new Xbox from Amazon.
The megacorporation saw a rise of more than 700% in sales of the Xbox One X – The old model that is being discontinued.
It certainly makes sense owing to Microsoft’s confusing naming scheme for their consoles.
If you did manage to snag a new xbox from Amazon, it may be worth checking your receipt to make sure you actually ordered a Series X, just in case.
However, I do hope you managed pre-order your own console if you wanted one, but even so, more stock will be available after release and over Christmas.
I have managed to secure a PlayStation 5, so I will provide a review of the console after release. Until then, thanks for reading.