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.

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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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