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PlayStation 5 demand and miscommunication cause pre-order chaos

Consumers hoping to nab a PlayStation 5 on launch day have been left in the lurch after some retailers opened pre-orders for the console ahead of Sony's schedule.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 17, 2020

2 Min Read

Consumers hoping to nab a PlayStation 5 on launch day have been left in the lurch after some retailers opened pre-orders for the console ahead of Sony's schedule. 

Sony finally slapped a price on its next-gen slab during a video reveal yesterday, September 16, and explained that pre-orders would open on September 17 in a follow-up tweet. 

Some retailers, however, jumped the gun, and major outlets including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy implored fans to pre-order the console straight after the event. 

With would-be PlayStation 5 owners scrambling to secure their console, Sony confused matters further by announcing those who'd signed up to pre-order the PS5 through its official store would only be able to do so as of Friday, September 18. 

Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan had earlier this year suggested fans would have plenty of notice with regards to pre-orders, telling Geoff Keighley during a video interview that "it's safe to say, we'll let you know when pre-orders will happen. It's not going to happen with a minute's notice."

Following the overnight rush, Walmart has announced that in-store pre-orders are being scrapped completely due to the "incredible interest it received from the online pre-order." The company had intended to let consumers order consoles in-store from September 22, but has axed that plan to "control store traffic and keep our customers safe" during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Topics related to PlayStation 5 preorders were still trending high on Twitter in the U.S. the morning after the PlayStation 5 showcase, meanwhile, Microsoft capitalized on the situation with a tongue-in cheek tweet reassuring fans that "we’ll let you know the exact time pre-orders start for you soon 

We've reached out to Walmart for more information on why it pulled the trigger on pre-orders ahead of time, and will update this story when we hear back.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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