Within hours of the Xbox One reveal EB Games had a full pre-order page up and running on their site, and JB Hi-Fi followed suit shortly after. Now, a day after the Microsoft conference, Harvey Norman has also gotten in on the act -- but where is the best place to pre-order the console in Australia?
Lifehacker did a quick round-up here, but we've also done our own research.
EB Games has the price at $899, with a disclaimer that this is obviously an estimated number. I'd guess that the console will actually be a fair bit cheaper than that. If you're pre-ordering online at EB Games a minimum payment of $50 is required up front.
With JB Hi-Fi it's a little more complicated. If you're online the only way to secure the pre-order is to pay the entire amount of $899 up front, which is a bit silly. I'd be surprised if JB Hi-Fi has managed to secure a single pre-order for the console using that online system. There is literally no way anyone would be silly enough to pay the upper limit of what is essentially a retailer's guesstimate.
In-store is a little different. I gave the Castle Hill JB Hi-Fi store a call, stating that the online site was demanding I pay the full amount for a pre-order. The staff member on call informed me that they would be happy to take a pre-order for the console for a minimum of $100 up front. This appears to be the kind of thing that may change from store to store, so if you're keen to pre-order the Xbox One at your local JB Hi-Fi it might be worth asking around.
Strangely, Harvey Norman currently has the best deal. You can pre-order an Xbox One at Harvey Norman for zero money down and, in addition, their estimated price is lower than EB and JB's. I would suggest, however, that Harvey Norman may not have the best price when the console is actually released, so you may want to hedge your bets on this one.
Actually -- you may want to hedge your bets in general. When the price is actually announced we'll most likely get a better idea of who is offering the best deal here in Australia. Also -- you generally do yourself zero favours as a consumer when you pre-order things super early.
UPDATE: JB Hi-Fi's Marketing Director Scott Browning called us this afternoon to help explain JB Hi-Fi's process when it comes to pre-ordering online.
Simply put JB Hi-Fi holds the full amount of $899 on its credit card as fraud prevention measure. After three to seven days the funds are then taken off your credit card, and recharged at a later date, closer to the time when the product -- in this case the Xbox One -- is sent out.
According to JB Hi-Fi this is a strict measure that attempts to deal with any potential credit card fraud. If someone steals a credit card and attempts to buy something online, fraudulent activity is far more likely to be flagged with bigger purchases.
Browning was very keen to reinforce that the full amount is not taken out, it is simply held for that period of time and then refunded.