Sony turned the video game world on its head yesterday when they, at long last, announced the PlayStation 5’s price and release date. The console, both the disc and digital version, will officially launch on November 12, 2020, with the retail prices of $499 and $399 respectively. As we previously reported, Sony also revealed after their presentation on Twitter that both systems would be available to pre-order as soon as the next day. However, it looks like some retailers were either not fully prepared for this announcement, or decided to do things their own way as less than a couple of hours after that tweet, several outlets began opening up their pre-order pages on their respective websites. Needless to say, chaos ensued throughout the video game community.
— The Verge (@verge) September 17, 2020
Walmart was the first to go ahead and stir up the pot with their inventory going in and out of stock before just going to out of stock completely. Next up was Target, which lasted a little bit longer than Walmart, but eventually ran out of stock as well. Gamestop offered not only the two systems but also several bundles which included accessories and the upcoming title Destruction All-Stars, albeit for a much higher price. After a while, all of those options sold out as well. Best Buy joined the fray as usual, and actually lasted the longest out of all the retailers. Unfortunately, as of this writing, they are all out of stock.
The last of the major retailers to put the system up for pre-order was the online juggernaut Amazon. Easily one of the most anticipated pre-order sites, Amazon seemed to be dealing with an interesting situation as people somehow found a backdoor into the URL page and were able to add the console of their choice to their cart before the official listing even went up that night. It didn’t take long after that, as within minutes both the disc and digital editions were gone. Obviously, fans are fairly outraged by this situation, as Sony did not make any clear mention as to what time/retailer would be having pre-orders.
It’s also important to note that, despite the recent events, there will more than likely be more PlayStation 5’s becoming available to pre-order as we get closer to the launch date and beyond. Speaking to the Washington Post, Sony CEO Jim Ryan mentioned that there will be more “PlayStation 5’s available than there were PlayStation 4’s in 2013”, when the latter launched. Ryan also states that the pricing that was revealed yesterday had been decided “quite early this year” meaning that Sony had known this whole time about the system’s pricing which is a stark contrast to an earlier report. It’s essentially a miracle that it was never leaked out up to this point.
Microsoft handled things a little bit differently when they officially unveiled both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S release date and prices. Instead of a one-day warning, the company announced that the consoles would be available to pre-order starting on September 22, well more than a couple of weeks beforehand. While we know that the majority of what’s happened is not Sony’s fault, it’s possible that it could’ve been avoided to some extent with a little more leeway in terms of timing. Still, it’s more than likely that most retailers will have their pre-order stock refilled before launch day. How much of that stock will be available remains to be seen.
The PlayStation 5 will officially launch on November 12, 2020.