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PS5 preorders have started and they’re a huge mess – good luck getting one

Published Sep 17th, 2020 6:50AM EDT
PS5 Preorder
Image: Sony

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  • The PS5 preorders should have gone live on Thursday morning, but it’s unclear what online retailers will be part of the first wave of sales, and when ordering starts. Also, it’s unclear whether some of these stores have started taking preorders but ran out of initial stock.
  • Sony has been anything but transparent about the PS5 launch during its media event on Wednesday. The company only announced the price and launch dates of the two consoles during the presentation and took its time to provide additional information about the PS5 release date plans.
  • Sony isn’t taking PS5 preorders itself and doesn’t even list participating partners.

Sony has absolutely no excuse for how it has treated its potential customers this year when it comes to providing timely information about a product it desperately wants to sell. Yes, the novel coronavirus pandemic impacted day-to-day life and regular business, making it incredibly hard for tech companies to stick to their launch and marketing playbooks for the various products that have to hit stores this year. Some transitioned to virtual launches, with Apple and Samsung events easily standing out. Others went mostly for regular press releases, and that’s what Microsoft did with the Xbox Series X and S consoles.

Sony attempted to build up buzz around the PS5 by dragging on announcements for as long as possible. It combined virtual events with regular press events, but the whole endeavor seemed disjointed. The PS5 design was unveiled via a trailer at the end of an online-only event about gaming. Only later did we find out more details about the design, and Sony is yet to reveal more information about the console or show the new user interface. Things got even worse on Wednesday when Sony repeated the same trick. After 40 minutes of game trailers, Sony rushed through PS5 pricing information and release dates at the end of the show, without proving all the information gamers needed. It took several minutes for Sony to tweet that preorder will start on Thursday, and only then a press announcement was released complete with more information. The key detail buyers who were ready to spend up to $499 on a new console were missing, however, and the resulting preorder experience is a huge mess. Good luck getting one.

To recap, the PS5 launches on November 12th in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, followed by the rest of the world a week later. Pricing starts at $399 for the PS5 Digital Edition and $499 for the regular PS5 model.

Several accessories will be available on launch day, including the $69.99 DualSense Wireless Controller, $99.99 Pulse 3D wireless headset, $59.99 HD Camera, $29.99 Media Remote, and $29.99 DualSense Charging Station.

But Sony delivered absolutely no information about preorders, other than posting this tweet:

There’s an argument that the PlayStation 5 will sell itself. It will offer outstanding performance, as well as access to plenty of new games. The new games lineup is actually an advantage over the PS5. And that might be enough for most gamers who can afford to buy the PS5.

But this is the year of the coronavirus pandemic when many people will struggle to make ends meet, let alone buy new consoles. Some might do whatever it takes to purchase the console, and they’d want to play the purchase accordingly.

You’d think that a giant organization such as Sony would be able to tell people exactly when the PS5 what retail partners will take preorders from the moment it was ready to reveal the price. Sony did no such thing. You can’t preorder the console on Sony’s own website as it is right now.

PS5 prices and release date. Image source: Sony

You can try Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart and your local games stores to see if you can get your order in. But there’s no indication that you’ll be able to order the console on Thursday, whether there’s enough stock with any of these retailers, and whether the initial supply has already sold out.

A quick check with Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart would tell you that you can’t order the console. But did PS5 preorders start, or have these retailers run out of stock already.

Recent reports, which Sony was quick to shut down, said the PS5 is harder to make, so gamers should expect reduced supply in the first two quarters. The way Sony handled Wednesday’s event and the continued lack of information that will only confuse buyers during the early days of preorders suggest that reports that said the PS5 will be in short supply at launch were accurate. The other explanation is that Sony is either incapable or unwilling to hold a professional new product launch in 2020, coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding. There’s probably no way that Microsoft can make preordering the Series X and Series S consoles a worse experience for buyers, but we’ll have to wait for next week to see how that goes.

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.