The retailers then apparently decided to do what they do on Black Friday: Open up earlier than expected and let the mayhem commence. Geoff Keighley, the former journalist who now runs The Game Awards, shared breaking news about retailers opening preorder sites early Wednesday night. Sure enough, within the hour, Walmart’s site opened up for preorders, which were gone within minutes. Other retailers like Best Buy, Target and GameStop followed suit.
When Sony and retailers weren’t communicating the relevant information, Twitter users flocked to the account of Wario64, renowned as one of the best deal hunters on the Internet, for up-to-date preorder info. Reddit users began sharing preorder links angrily, one stating, “Boyz I am straight up not having a good time.”
Microsoft took a jab at Sony Thursday morning, tweeting, “don’t worry — we’ll let you know the exact time preorders start for you soon.” While the next-gen Xbox preorders aren’t up yet, Microsoft announced its pricing with a payment plan structure similar to shopping for smartphones, which has given the appearance that at the very least, Xbox is the more organized console manufacturer for the moment.
This is undeniably a huge egg on Sony’s face, particularly since PlayStation marketing head Eric Lempel told Keighley in July that preorders are “not going to happen within a minute’s notice.” That is precisely what happened.
Unfortunately, this is a reality that many consumers of pop culture face when it comes to buying products online. Concertgoers, Apple enthusiasts and even people who want unlimited Olive Garden pasta are all familiar with this pain.
For what it’s worth, PlayStation’s Ryan told us that there will be more PlayStation 5 units available for the holidays than there were PlayStation 4 units in 2013. That’s encouraging, and they’re going to need to hold to that assurance considering the communications misfire around the preorder process.
The only thing for early adopters to do for now is to keep tabs on social media sites and accounts that track live preorders, and set notifications live. My advice is to not jump in early to reward the hundreds of preorders already being sold by scalpers on eBay for ridiculous, marked-up prices.
For now, here are some bookmarks if you’re hoping to get a PlayStation 5 preorder in the U.S.
We also recommend bookmarking the PlayStation 5 subreddit’s thread for preorders, which includes links to international retailers. While retailers are not accepting preorders at the time of publication of this post, they’re expected to restock through the holidays.