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PS5 preorders on Amazon might not ship on launch day

Published Sep 19th, 2020 1:55PM EDT
PS5 Preorder
Image: Sony

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  • Sony’s PS5 preorder mess continues as the console remains sold out at several retailers.
  • Amazon has contacted PS5 buyers, warning them that it can’t guarantee their purchase will be shipped on November 12th, when the console launches in stores.
  • Amazon says it’s making every effort to ship the PS5 to buyers “as soon as possible once released.”

The PlayStation 5 preorder mess continues with another annoying chapter that further underscores Sony’s biggest problem. There’s not enough supply to meet the enormous demand.

Sony fumbled preorders earlier this week with its unusual announcement. Initially, the company revealed only the price and release dates for the two PS5 versions at the end of a virtual press event focused on next-gen games. Then Sony tweeted that preorders would start on Thursday, without saying which retailers would offer them, and when online sales would start. The press release that followed lacked those details as well.

Retailers then somehow decided they should start selling the console several hours ahead of schedule. Come Thursday morning, there was hardly any stock left. At the time, we told you the preorder mess might mask Sony’s rumored supply issues, which the company denied a few days before the event.

Now Amazon practically confirms that there won’t be enough stock to go around.

Amazon sent out emails on Friday warning the customers who managed to preorder a PS5 that the console of their choice might not ship on launch day. That happens to be November 12th for the US and several other markets. It’s unclear how significant the delay will be, as Amazon offers no estimates in the email. The company says there’s a chance you won’t receive the PS5 or PS5 Digital Edition when it launches in stores, but that it’s working on shipping them ASAP:

We’re contacting you about your order of PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (B08FC6MR62) to let you know in advance that you may not receive this item on the day it is released due to high demand. We’ll make every effort to get the item to you as soon as possible once released.

The email, available in full below via The Verge, also reminds buyers they can make changes to their unshipped orders and cancel them if they so desire:

PS5 Preorders
Amazon email informs buyers who preordered the PS5 that the console might not ship on launch day. Image source: The Verge

The entire point of preordering a product is to make sure you’ll get it on launch day. Otherwise, you could buy it whenever it’s in stock. In fairness, Sony did warn gamers a few weeks ago that PS5 supply would be tight, and not everyone will get in their orders this fall. But Sony failed to follow through and make it easier for buyers to plan their PS5 purchase.

It’s not just the preorders, but it looks like Amazon doesn’t have a clear indication of how much PS5 stock it will receive from Sony for November 12th deliveries. That must be why Amazon is sending those emails to customers. The good news is that Amazon is not automatically canceling any preorders that it knows it can’t honor on launch day.

The iPhone remains one of the best examples of how to do online preorders. Some versions of the latest handset usually sell out during preorders, but Apple and its partners give buyers estimates for the new ship date once the stock available to deliver on launch day is depleted. That way, buyers know exactly what they’re in for well before actually placing their orders.

Microsoft has taken advantage of the PS5 preorder issues to tell buyers they’ll handle online sales differently. The company already provided exact preorder times and launch partners for the main markets, so customers can at least know what to expect. That might not be enough to sway undecided buyers, and those gamers who want a new PlayStation won’t care. But we can at least hope that Sony will right the ship and come forward with more information.

If the PS5 supply is already nearly sold out, then so be it. This is, after all, the year of the pandemic, with COVID-19 having impacted everything about regular life, PlayStation development and manufacturing included. But it’s not just gamers who will want to know whether they can get a PS5 on November 12th. With the holidays coming, parents will certainly want to know when to expect that PS5 delivery.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.