PlayStation Apologizes For The PlayStation 5 Pre-Order Mess

At least they're transparent about how poorly this went down?

PlayStation has officially apologized for the mess that was trying to pre-order a PlayStation 5 this past week.

“Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother,” wrote a representative on the main brand Twitter account. “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.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, Sony held its PlayStation 5 showcase event, where it unveiled several game surprises as well as the next-generation system’s price and release date. Sony confirmed the PlayStation 5 will launch on Nov. 12 for the US, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Canada, South Korea, and New Zealand, with other territories to follow a week later on Nov. 19. The physical disc drive of the PlayStation 5 will launch at $499. The digital-only console will launch at $399.

Not all the information for PlayStation’s next generation was communicated smoothly, though. There was plenty Sony left out, like how most games on the PlayStation 5 will now cost $70. But perhaps the most important point for consumers — when pre-orders for the system would begin — was somehow missing from the show. Astoundingly, the information that pre-orders would begin the very next day was instead relayed through Game Awards host and veteran industry figure Geoff Keighley on Twitter.

It’s all the more head-scratching considering that PlayStation Worldwide Marketing Head Eric Lempel had explicitly said back in July that everyone would receive plenty of advance notice for pre-orders. Clearly, that wasn’t the case in the end.

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What has since followed has been a mess. Even though pre-orders were supposed to begin on Sept. 17, the PlayStation 5 was sold out basically everywhere on the evening of Sept 16. Fanbyte Managing Editor Steven Strom physically drove to a GameStop only to be told the system was already sold out just 15 minutes after the console was announced. GameStop employees were not warned of pre-orders going live beforehand. If you got a PlayStation 5 anywhere online, you were one of the lucky ones.

Even Amazon, which was a better bet for some, has run into some trouble. Yesterday, Sept. 18, many of those who bought their PlayStation 5 on the site received an email warning of potential delays. It’s understandable given that the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Frankly, I feel like you can wait a few days for it, especially since the first-party line-up for launch day isn’t all that impressive. But the fault still largely lies with PlayStation’s management of the pre-order situation — which, yes, as they say, could have definitely been much smoother, to say the least. At least they’re aware of it.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has handled Xbox Series X and Series X pre-orders in the way that such a thing should be handled. Pre-orders for those systems will begin on Sept. 22. For our guide on the different launch titles for each system, you can go here.


Natalie Flores

Natalie is Fanbyte's Featured Contributor, with bylines at places like VICE, Polygon, PC Gamer, Paste Magazine, and more.

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