Sony ended its presentation today with the long-awaited price and release date for the PS5 – but stopped telling players when and where to buy one until a tweet seemed to make things clearer: pre-orders would begin tomorrow, September 17th . At least it seemed to take an hour or two. Now it's a complete mess.
Perhaps eager to capitalize on demand, retailers quickly turned the pre-order situation into a free one, opening the floodgates a day early and allowing the fastest, most savvy buyers to come forward. Some called or went to their local GameStop, pre-order a day early, or seemingly lucky with one of Walmart's PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition deals. Walmart even happily tweeted that the console was pushed out ahead of schedule:
GameStop shortly released a press release promoting the availability of the PS5 online, although at the time there was no product page to buy one from. You can now find product pages at Target (PS5, PS5 Digital) and Best Buy (PS5, PS5 Digital). GameStop's product lists (PS5, PS5 Digital) appear to be active too – but strangely, the website seems to have triggered some DDoS protection and is blocked for a lot of people (including us):
And good luck in getting one, even if you get through: Not only do these offers flicker up and down and lead to errors adding items to your cart, but we ripped them off our cart in the middle of an item transaction. Target says it has already run out of pre-orders (see picture below), and we also hear that Walmart is already canceling some successful pre-orders. In several ways, it reminds us of the fiasco that started with SNES Classic.
It seems like in addition to being on time, you have to have updated your page a few times to get one into your cart and enter your payment information very quickly as you can still lose the pre-order as you check out.
And even if you did manage to get one, there is no guarantee that it will arrive on launch day. Our attempt to reach Target initially indicated that we might get it "by Friday November 13th – Wednesday November 18th" before telling ourselves we couldn't get one at all:
Also, when ordering from GameStop, you may need to go through in person to pre-purchase the console. The minimum deposit required by the retailer for the PS5 is $ 50. GameStop notes, however, that there are additional payment options for the system, including a flexible "rent-to-own" payment system that allows players to withdraw products between 30 days and a year.
Sony had warned that it could be difficult to pre-purchase a PS5 due to the high demand and limited supply, but Sony also promised to let players know when pre-orders would start "well in advance":
What happened to it And what exactly was the point of this entire pre-order registration form that Sony released on August 26th?
Sony CEO Jim Ryan claimed that there will be more PS5 units available than PS4 units when they first launched in 2013, and also denied a recent report by Bloomberg that Sony was forced to shut down PS5 production to reduce 4 million units. It is not yet clear how many PS5s will actually be available, but it is possible that more shows will appear before the launch. According to reports, Walmart will have more inventory on September 22nd, while Target's product page suggests "re-checking the release date".