Xbox and PlayStation Pre-Orders Have Been a Disaster

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Pre-orders for both Sony and Microsoft’s new game consoles have been a mess. Here’s what’s going on.

Xbox and PlayStation Pre-Orders Have Been a Disaster

Xbox Series X Pre-Orders Have Been A Debacle So Far - Kotaku

While more orderly [than PS5 pre-orders] at the start, the process for locking in a Series X or S hasn’t been any easier. Maybe it’s bots. Maybe it’s the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic we’re living through. Maybe it will all be sorted by the time the consoles release on November 10.

Last week Sony announced the release date and price of their PS5, and didn't tell people when or where they would be able to pre-order them. Soon after the event, Geoff Keighley for some reason had the news:

But this didn't happen. Instead, Walmark said "screw it, let's gooooo"

Within minutes, basically every retailer had unleashed the floodgates and everything was sold out in no time.

I was thining of ordering one, but I did not because I watched the event, saw Geoff's tweet about pre-orders being the next day, ate dinner, and when I got back online I saw everything was already over.

Microsoft, of course, made a point to say that they would tell you the exactly time pre-orders would be available, and they were indeed right about that bit. The problem: basically every site crashed under the load and it was a clusterfuck for most people checking out.

I simply have a few thoughts after wathing this all go down over the past week:

  1. This makes Apple pre-order days/nights look downright pedestrian. Not because the demand is lower, but because they have systems in place to manage this sort of traffic.
  2. I continue to snicker at the tech pundit narrative from 2013 when the last Xbox and PlayStations came out, suggesting mobile was killing console gaming and these new machines were not going to do well. Today, Nintendo is selling every single Switch they can manufacture and Sony and Microsoft could have sold these new machines at $799 and people still would have bought them out in minutes.
  3. Investing in a gaming PC this spring was the best thing I got all year. Reports are it's a little more powerful than an Xbox Series X and will be getting all the games coming to Xbox on day one (and free with Game Pass), so I won't feel like I'm missing out on much there.
  4. This takes me back to the 2103 launch of the PS4, which was the first tech product I ever bought on launch day. Before that I'd never gotten an iPhone or anything besides a movie on DVD on the day it released.