Facepalm: Given that it's one of the most anticipated products in years, the chaos surrounding pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 should come as little surprise, especially as many retailers ignored Sony's official pre-order date and went live a day early. Most places were 'out of stock' within minutes, but Amazon faired better---or so it seemed.
Following its PlayStation 5 event last week, Sony tweeted that pre-orders for the next-gen console would be available "starting as early as tomorrow [September 17] at select retailers." It appears that Target, BestBuy, GameStop, and Walmart never got the memo---or didn't care---opening their pre-orders a day early [September 16].
Make you wait to get the new #PlayStation5? Nah, that's not like us. Go on, preorder it NOW!--- Walmart (@Walmart) September 16, 2020
The resulting free-for-all resulted in crashes, broken links, and, in some cases, caused DDoS protections to kick in, blocking some users. Many people, including this writer, managed to place a PS5 in their shopping carts only to find it replaced with an 'out of stock' warning at the checkout.
Those who secured a PS5 pre-order on Amazon, which seemingly avoided many of these issues, could find themselves disappointed---the company says they might not arrive in time to make the November 12 release date. In an email sent to customers, Amazon warned: "We're contacting you about your order of PlayStation 5 to let you know in advance that you may not receive this item on the day it is released due to high demand. We'll make every effort to get the item to you as soon as possible once released."
The situation has led to PlayStation 5 pre-orders appearing on eBay for ridiculous prices. There are hundreds of listings for the console, which has an MSRP of $499, many of them over $1,000. The most expensive 'Buy it Now' is a comical $12,500. We've seen the same situation with the RTX 3080.
Sony has apologized for the mess. It tweeted: "Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for pre-order - retailers will share more details," adding that extra units would be available through the rest of the year.
Let's be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that.--- PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 19, 2020
Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder - retailers will share more details.
And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/h1TaGsGBun
Just before its PS5 event, Sony denied a report that there would be a shortage of PS5 units due to alleged SoC production issues. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan promised there would be "more PlayStation 5 units ready for sale than they had PlayStation 4 units in 2013."