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Sony Ruins PS5 Pre-Orders With Botched ‘Advanced Notice’ Promise

Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:30 PM
Thomas Bardwell
Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:30 PM
  • Sony announced yesterday that the PS5 will launch on Nov.12 priced at $499/$399.
  • The company noted that pre-orders would go live today, Sept. 17, but retailers made them available shortly after ward triggering a panicked scramble.
  • It is now virtually impossible to secure a pre-order as most major retailers have sold out.

If you’re only just waking from eight hours of solid shut eye-peppered by dreams of gazing adoringly at a launch day PS5 still giving off that distinctive factory-fresh whiff, then you’re in for a shock.

A little over twelve hours after Sony’s pricing mic-drop and the announcement that the pre-orders floodgate would open today – not hours after last night’s PS5 showcase – it’s become virtually impossible to secure a PS5 pre-order.

Sony revealed the price and release date for the PS5 yesterday. | Source: PlayStation/Sony Interactive Entertainment

So much for PlayStation worldwide marketing head Eric Lempel assuring prospective buyers that Sony would give plenty of advance notice for pre-orders. What was supposed to be Sony’s big moment has turned into a botched, chaotic mess.

Minutes after the presentation, Sony took to Twitter to announce that pre-orders would go live ‘starting as early as tomorrow at select retailers.’  Not quite the days notice Lempel’s words suggested, but enough for many to set an early alarm and go to be bed convinced they’d land a pre-order in the morning.

Presumably eager to make the most of the hype around Sony’s presentation, retailers threw caution to the wind, ignored Sony’s announcement, and listed pre-orders within hours, triggering a panicked scramble.

The early opening of pre-orders was trouble enough, but would-be buyers were met with all manner of issues as retailers strained under the demand – payment failures, links that didn’t work, error messages, and sites crashing entirely, as was the case with GameStop .

By now, most retailers have sold out. And, in most cases, did so within minutes.

Good Luck Landing a PS5 Pre-Order

Walmart, which is among the first to make pre-orders available, now displays the PS5 as ‘out of stock.’  The situation is very much the same for other major retailers, including BestBuy , Target , and Amazon , who all opened up pre-orders early.

Amazon sells out within minutes. | Source: Amazon
Target expects more stock on launch day. | Source: Target
Walmart lists PS5 pre-orders as ‘out of stock.’ | Source: Walmart
Best Buy says more units are ‘coming soon.’ | Source: BestBuy

Those looking for a PS5 on launch day may have more luck elsewhere, as scalpers have taken to listing confirmed pre-orders of the console on auction sites at prices that dwarf the recommended retail price announced by Sony last night.

It’s worth noting that Sony did advise that there will be a limited quantity of PS5 consoles available for pre-order . But there’s a sense the company could have handled the situation better, sticking to its word and offering clarity about when pre-orders would be available.

There may be some hope for those still optimistic about landing a pre-order this late in the game: PlayStation’s CEO Jim Ryan says Sony will have more PS5 units available at launch than PS4 units in 2013 , of which the company sold 2.1 million within two weeks.

Allied to Sony refuting a report claiming it had axed its production forecast by 4 million units, this makes it likely more stock is on the way, aided – in the US at least – by a fleet of 60 cargo planes bursting with PS5s.