The Big Question: Pre-Order Or Don't Pre-Order?

I've always been of the mind to not pre-order, but the shortage of next-gen consoles has me questioning that call.

I guess my new position is: only pre-order if you think there's going to be some sort of shortage of the product you want.

It's interesting. I spoke to the ex-Managing Director of Game Australia for a story this year and he personally told me that consumers should never, ever pay off any pre-order in full until the day of purchase because your right, as a creditor, if that retailer goes bust, rank pretty low. For that reason, but mainly because I hate the way games are sold on silly pre-order bonuses and collector's editions, I don't pre-order ever.

But is it a case of better safe than sorry? Or is it a case of only pre-ordering when necessary? Vote and let us know the details in the comments below.


    Consoles at launch is the one and only exception to a rule.

    The rule being "never never preorder a video game".

    Also, see this:

      Yep. I never pre-order games but getting the XBOX One on day one relatively hassle free has proved to me that pre-orders on consoles are the way to go. The only downside is you've got to pre-order a console before you even know when it'll come out. If they release on a weekend or a day you can't get off work you're screwed.

        Yup. Not only is it a necessity in order to even get one, but like you say, the way retailers handle launches now (with fast passes, etc) is awesome.

          I go further and only pre-order limited edition consoles..... Like that shiny gold Zelda 3DS XL... Did angels sing when I opened that box?


          Yes they did.....

    I use to preorder all the time, I've changed that habit a lot in the past year,(The whole diablo 3 GAME AU fiasco scared a lot of us.) nowadays I only preorder stuff that is most likely not going to hit the shelf (I.E GTA 5 Collectors Edition, Bravely Default Collectors Edition. etc..)

    Last edited 27/11/13 11:19 am

      yeah GTA V was the only game Ive preordered in years, because quite frankly, its GTA. Rockstars GTA games to me, are 'event' games, or at least the last of the 'event' games. It did not disappoint at all gladly.

      Yeah, I only pre-order consoles, or Collector's Editions of games that I know are gonna be massive (like GTA V).

      Staff at my local EB are always pushing me to pre-order stuff though.

    Haven't pre-ordered in ages, because I stopped buying from high demand stores... I just waddle down to Big W and pick up my games over the counter, or K-mart or Target, whoever has the best price.

    Not voting in this poll, because there is no "sometimes" option.

    You need a sometimes option. As it is only in extreme circumstances when i preorder things this is my first console preorder (PS4) however i used to preorder games a lot. My reasoning is simply due to finances it is easier to pay it off before it comes out than lump 1 massive sum on launch.

    I've only preordered special editions, i.e. Ni No Kuni: White Witch Edition, Zelda Gold 3DS.
    and i think that is the only way to go. i tend to wait a month after releases of games for the initial price drop anyway

    Think for a minute you live near one of these retailers in a region deemed by a boardroom of stuffy-suited rich dudes as less than deserving of stock.

    Pre-ordering is a necessary evil where I am, but it doesn't have to be.

    I would dearly love to see the spotlight shone more brightly on games retail and import/distribution of electronic software in this country. We are not America, where the biggest sites were formed on the basis of free flights, free food and free games. If you know something, you should say something.

    I cancelled my PS4 pre order because as some of you know, Grabda kindly offered me his launch console because i was in the second lot after missing the first order by a week :-/

    The guy at EB nearly keeled over dead when i told him, he asked why, i just told him i got a launch console from somewhere that could supply it on the 29th haha.

      The manager at my local EB told me that there "might" be a couple of people cancelling their PS4 pre-orders to get an XBox One instead, and by the time they were cancelled the stores order of PS4's would already be in transit, so they could have a few extras

      I hope so because I haven't pre-ordered. Gonna head down today, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

      Edit: No PS4's left. Oh well, at least I've got my Xbone to tide me over till early next year.

      Last edited 27/11/13 1:58 pm

      I canceled my PS4 at EB too. Guy gasped for about 16 minutes.

    I only pre-order these days if it is the day before release and I feel like pre-loading the game on Steam. That's fairly rare.

    I don't see any value in pre-ordering at all. It's incredibly rare for most games to sell out and most consoles simply aren't worth getting on day one.

    I have pre-ordered games before. The original Crysis (totally worth the money). U2K4 (also worth it) and Doom 3 (so disappointing).

    After that saving money became more important to me, and now I look for deals. I know which games I want to buy, and when I get them at a good price, I hit it. I haven't payed full price for a game in at least 5 years. Probably longer.

    I just don't get the value out of them anymore to justify a $90 purchase. The closest I've come is the last of us for $110 at Big W. And that came with a PS3 controller, so it was still a deal. But it felt like a lot of money at the time!

    Generally, never. I'm glad I made an exception for ps4, even though it was intended as a way to pay it off in dribs and drabs. Ended up preordering Killzone and AC4 too, just so I don't have to fight for them. Hopefully in and out as quickly as possible on friday.

    Games: depends on the bonuses. Consoles: No, because it doesn't seem smart to buy consoles at launch considering launch lineups are so small. I'd rather wait for a bit and see what each console is able to do.

    However, I might have considered preordering a PS4 since they were going to be so hard to get otherwise.

    I never pre-order games u8nless I have to because it comes with specific bonus goodies that only pre-orders allow. I did pre-order a PS4, for obvious reasons.

    Last edited 27/11/13 11:43 am

    I have never pre-ordered a console because I never buy a console on launch day, I always wait a little bit after launch (I'm going to buy a PS4 when they do a PS4/Vita Combo)

    I seldomly pre-order depends on what is the reward for pre-ordering...The major problem for games is that different stores offer different packages....EB Games (via GameStop) get some good pre-order packages but you have to pay a boatload for it (I still don't understand why EB Games charge $10-$40 more for games - case in point EB were selling GTA V (PS3) for $109 (now at a "sale" price of $89) whereas JB-HiFi, K-Mart, Big-W are selling it for $79.

    I wait for a decent title that's on nextgen first, then buy the console. The launch lineups have been pretty terrible so far.

    If I know I'm going to buy the game anyhow I pre-order as a way to show loyalty to the great games guy at my local shop.
    I never pay it off in full, just minimum deposit. Fully refundable and no obligation to buy
    I always chuckle when I pick up a preorder and there's someone kicking up a stink because a game is currently sold out, or had a limited run.

    I mostly pre-order niche games that I know will only get one or two copies, though I often use the pre-order system as a reminder alarm when something actually comes out. I'm doing it less and less though as it often means I have to go through the messy business of cancelling a pre-order if I find it cheaper elsewhere. The niche games are also becoming less niche, or more available (either via digital or online) so there's less incentive to pre-order them to guarantee copies being ordered.

    I don't pre-order. It's stupid in an age of digital distribution - they are not going to run out.

    Obviously its a bit different with hardware, but I have a completely different rule on for consoles on that: don't buy on launch. It will be cheaper, more reliable, and the games will still be available in a year (though in all likelihood none of the launch titles will be worth 'reviewing').

    I used to pre order only if I wanted something that I knew was limited, like a special edition of a new game, now I just don't give a shit and just get it when it comes out.

    I've never gotten a console at launch, have never felt the need as launch day lineups are usually meh at best.

    If its what I think will actually be a limited edition such as the assassins creed iv black flag one, i will pre-order it. Things like the cod hardened edition where you know there will happen to be a box full in the warehouse that they "forgot" about, well I wont bother.

    I will always pre-order consoles, but I only pay the minimum and pay the rest a week or less before release.

    GTA5 and Xbone were first things I've preordered in years, dont mind waiting a week and importing most things but those 2 I had to have on launch.

    I do preorder only because I trade in a lot. If I could put it on a gift card I would, apparently that is illegal in NSW . I kept switching my preorder from PS4 to X1. Probably did it 5 times. Ended up with a X1 which I returned. Now I have to wait til Feb-March for PS4. Don't really want the PS4 either but there is nothing to buy. Probably should just go buy microsoft points PSN cards and sell them for cash.

    I preorder if:
    - I want to get immediately when they are out and don't have confidence there will be stock available at launch if I don't
    - It is a limited edition which is likely to sell out before release
    - I am importing the product from another country
    - It is a digital release (eg Steam) and buying early has a significant discount, or I know I want to play it the instant it unlocks and I want to pre-load it.

    Otherwise there's not much point. Most stuff can be picked up easily at launch or after, and failing that there's usually digital copies available for most stuff. I never put down a deposit, or if I have to I always place the absolute minimum. Avoid companies where I have to pay in advance to place a preorder as well.

    Needs another option...
    Don't normally pre order anything, but in the case of a console that I knew would sell out, hell yeah I did.

    I preordered the Wii, WiiiU and PS4.

    Games I normally don't bother preordering locally in store, but I have via JB online and ozgameshop just so they can be shipped ASAP.

    After the whole GAME shutdown I'm wary enough to only put the minimum deposit down but I'll be paying off my PS4 stuff at EB today so I can get the fastpass thing.

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