So, I’m sure by now you’ve seen or heard about the hellacious stories about how difficult it was to pre-order a PlayStation 5 in the US and throughout Europe. From websites going down completely to people getting all the way to the check out screen only to be presented with an error message that the product is no longer available. I want to say that this was to be expected, but I feel that that is letting Sony off the hook a little too easy with this one. Maybe it’s not fully Sony’s fault, but me, as a consumer, am going to place the majority of the blame on them.
Prior to the announcement on the 16th of the PlayStation 5’s release date of November 12th, they had made it very clear that they were going to make sure that pre-order windows were going to be announced in a timely fashion so not only consumers could prepare to make the purchase, I would be remiss to say that this was also for retailers to prepare their systems as well. They made a Tweet shortly after the announcement stating that pre-orders will be starting less than 24 hours after the event had ended. Last time I checked, a few hours is not ‘ample time’ to get ready to one, make such a large purchase, and two, enough time for retailers to ensure that their network backends were properly prepared for the onslaught of traffic that they were about to experience.
Here in Japan, the pre-order fiasco continued with Amazon selling out instantaneously. To make things worse, many of Japan’s largest retailers for electronics such as Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera, Tsutaya, GEO, and other companies just outright not taking preorders, rather holding a lottery for the ability to pre-order a system. This is honestly a slap in the face for people who have been waiting to pre-order the system only to lose out on a lottery against someone who is likely going to just flip the console for multiple times more than they purchased it for.
Maybe this comes off as a bit whiney, but Sony had the opportunity to do right by this. They announced that they were making more systems to meet the rush, they announced that they were going to be announcing pre-orders in an orderly fashion, and they didn’t do either of them. So where I was going to be buying a PlayStation 5 on day one, I will be waiting until they have a better catalog of games that take advantage of the system’s power.