Ready for some drama? First. The back story! On September 18th, Sony announced that its shiny new Sony PlayStation 5 would be up for pre-order the next day.. Little did they know that retailers were getting ready to hit the pre-order launch button just hours later. What followed was the most hectic console pre-order in modern memory. Microsoft even took a jab at Sony over the mess. Comforting its fans with the knowledge that it would provide advance notice for Xbox pre-orders. Unfortunately, that comfort didn’t last and Microsoft pre-orders were also a disaster.. The mess that is 2020 continues. With the backstory in place, let’s talk about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S | X pre-order chaos!
The Sony PlayStation 5 Pre-Order Experience
Sony announced that pre-orders would be available the morning of September 18th. Walmart, however, had other plans. A tweet went out shortly after Sony’s announcement that read, “Make you wait to get the new PlayStation 5? Nah, that’s not like us. Go on, preorder it NOW!” The internet immediately went crazy as Target also released pre-orders sales. They sold out within minutes. As news spread around the internet gamers began visiting both Walmart and Target’s online stores in droves to try and secure their console only to find out that they were all gone.
GameStop and Best Buy followed suit. Team MysteryBlock joined in and attempted to secure one of Sony’s new machines. After what felt like an infinite amount of purchase attempts, on both GameStop and Best Buy, we were met with failure. Like many others consoles failed to appear in the shopping cart, the console disappeared from the cart, or one of us made it to the check out process only for the site to crash. After what seemed like an eternity, success!.
For the rest of the internet, those that would miss out on Best Buy and GameStop placed their last hopes on Amazon. While the other big four had already sold out, gamers not so patiently waited for Amazon to open their gates. But the “internets are gonna internet.” As gamers waited, spammed F5 and got to know the dogs of Amazon, a URL leaked on Twitter and Reddit that linked you to Amazon checkout with a console automatically added. Bypassing the waitlist. By the time Amazon’s official product page went live the PS5 was pretty much gone.
The Xbox Series S | X Pre-Order Experience
As the fires continued, Microsoft prepared for their own launch on September 22nd. With what seemed to be a much more organized approach, Microsoft let gamers know that console pre-orders would NOT go up until 8AM on release day. Although they kept their word, things soon fell apart.
Coming out of the Sony disaster, some retailers implemented a pre-order queue system. It didn’t go as planned. Users were met with the spinning wheel of death on Best Buy’s site, unable to add Microsoft’s newest console to their cart, and when they did, were unable to checkout. Amazon, Target and Walmart sold out of their pre-orders almost instantly. Over on Microsoft’s own website things didn’t go well either. Microsoft gamers almost made it to purchase only to receive a Sold Out message.
Not only were fans outraged at the mishandling of pre-orders, but consoles immediately popped up on eBay for outrageous prices. Reaching the $2,000 price tag as those unable to secure a pre-order console frantically attempted to buy one of the overpriced eBay pre-orders.
Days later, retailers announced a second wave of orders would be available for the PlayStation 5. Only for them to vanish within minutes. To make things worse emails started to go out from the various retailers stating that consoles may not arrive on launch day. With some even saying that they probably wouldn’t be received until 2021!
Sony is currently expected to ship 5 to 6 million units by the end of the fiscal year ending March 2021. Microsoft has provided no official numbers, so it’s hard to tell how many consoles were sold during pre-order Both Sony and Microsoft, however, have confirmed that there will be more consoles available on launch day, but it’s hard to say how many.
Well, there you have it. The backstory to the recent console pre-order drama and Team MysteryBlock’s own experience hunting down the elusive consoles.
Were you able to order your console of choice, or do you remain one of the many anxiously awaiting supplies to be replenished? How did you navigate the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S | X pre-order chaos? Let us know in the comments!