Sony Apologises For PS5 Preorder Clusterfuck, Says More Consoles Will Be Available This Year

Sony Apologises For PS5 Preorder Clusterfuck, Says More Consoles Will Be Available This Year
Image: Sony / Playstation

Earlier this week, PS5 preorders started up at various retailers around the world at different times and with little warning. This created a giant mess and now Sony has officially apologised for the clusterfuck.

PS5 Preorders Were A Complete Clusterfuck

Yesterday, right after Sony’s big PS5 event, the company announced that preorders for the next-gen PlayStation console would “be available starting as early as tomorrow at select retailers.”. And then, they weren’t.

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The problems started on September 16, right after the latest PS5 showcase video ended. Sony said pre-orders for its next-gen console would start “As early as tomorrow.” And then Wal-Mart and other stores began offering PS5 preorders right away and chaos ensued.

Over the next few hours, people desperately tried to preorder consoles when different stores launched their PS5 product pages or activated pre0rders. There was lots of confusion and not much word from Sony about what was going on. Now, a few days after the dust has settled and many are still looking for a PS5 preorder, Sony has apologised for the whole situation.

“PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother.”

The company also said it will have more PS5 preorders “over the next few days” and that even more PS5 consoles will go on sale throughout the year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has been busy throwing some shade at Sony over the whole mess, with a tweet poking fun at the PS5 preorder chaos.

Microsoft announced recently the exact time folks will be able to preorder the next-gen Xbox consoles. Assuming no retailers break that date, it seems things might be a bit less chaotic during the Xbox Series X and S preorder day. But who knows. It is 2020. Anything can happen.

Xbox Series X, Series S Preorders Open September 22 At 11 A.M. ET

While online preorders for the PlayStation 5 appeared and disappeared sporadically after yesterday’s showcase, Microsoft has provided Kotaku with the specific time we’ll be able to drop hundreds of dollars on its upcoming consoles next Tuesday.

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  • Hardly a clusterfuck but it could’ve definitely been a bit more controlled.

    I made the assumption that preorders would open after a price announcement so I went straight to the JB website as soon as I woke up, ordered, then came here to see the coverage.

    • Given the timezones, a LOT of us were at work at the time (or busy getting to work).

      Wasn’t going to get one myself, but my son was, and he’s worked a lot of shifts to save the extra $$$ for this (it’s his first job). I’m pretty disappointed for him that he’s missed out because of Walmart and Sony’s fuckery.

      For months, it’s been all about ‘sign up for notifications’ etc, and people wanting more info on this thing, and then they really couldn’t stick the landing. Pretty unprofessional for a company to mess up that bad in 2020.

      • There’s no question that Sony could’ve handled things differently but that’s really a matter of hindsight, not foresight.
        For all the interest and predictions, it’s clear nobody expected things to blow up as quickly as it did, even Sony.
        (Given how things played out, I think a controlled roll out would’ve been an even bigger disaster, the retailers of the world couldn’t even handle the staggered traffic as the knowledge spread)

        I understand the frustration (especially for your son) but no amount of pearl clutching is gonna change how things played out or how things are going to go from here.

  • Do people really think having a set date or time would have been less of a mess, clearly they have never tried to buy a concert ticket ever. There would still be a scalper problem, still a lack of stock problem, even meltdown of shop sites and in the case of America there would have been huge line up at stores in the middle of a pandemic.

    It will be interesting to see how Xbox will go. I guess it just depends how much stock they have to PS5.

    • Indeed. Add to that, the fact that a lot of these preorders were snapped up by scalpers ordering multiple consoles at once, limiting people from being able to grab one. We literally know of one asshole around here who ordered *12* consoles, he hasn’t even paid them off, just done the 50 dollar deposit routine through his family members so they can profit off it on ebay. Scumbag or what? Granted his extreme action isn’t the norm, but it does reflect a greater issue, that this sort of behaviour is killing the ability for standard consumers to access goods. I guess if the preordering habit were to stop, that’d solve it, but that won’t happen…

  • So does MS announcing preorder times for each region , something you’d expect a company launching a new product worldwide to just do as part of the process- constitute “throwing shade” now?

    They really can’t catch a break can they?

    • Their tweet had a fair bit of shade in it, for sure.

      We’ll see if they fare any better on the preorder front this week. I don’t think demand is going to be as high, so that will probably help.

      • It’ll absolutely still be a clusterfuck, because these things always are.

        BUT the significant difference is that it’ll be a FAIR clusterfuck that we know is going to happen, and we’ll all have a FAIR chance at getting a pre-order in.

        Not this dumb shit that all went down while half of us were AFK.

        • What is fair about a whole bunch of people all trying to cram on the same system/s at the same time. You are the mercy of all manner of RNG. You never done a presale before? there is nothing fair about them.

          • It’s fair because everybody knows to be ready to smash that refresh button.
            If Sony have a proper heads up, like they said they would, it would still be absolute chaos but at least we would be ready for it.
            The way they did it, only bots and no-lifers who sit on Twitter had a chance.

      • Crikey. We’re really far down the rabbit hole now aren’t we?

        When a company does the right thing by its consumers, and has been consistently transparent about its plans in a pretty standard way (because they want the business, there’s no implication that there’s some noble deed) – they’re obviously just “throwin shade” at their competitors. Is there another tweet I didn’t see?

        Is this really where we’re at now ?

    • 8am in online pre orders open in Australia. Pretty sure this will work seemlessly as they’ve given everyone plenty of time and they seem to have production under control

      • Hard to tell, they’ve already warned retailers and consumers that there is a limited supply and have been implying that some folks will miss out on the first run.
        It’s possibly they’re being careful but they’ve also been very coy on confirming production numbers too which is a pain.

        So it will either be a furious race and sell out quick through high demand like the PS5 (which is good, let’s be honest) or have a much more subdued launch period.
        (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in some ways either depending on how you want to look at it)

  • And not saying this as a fanboy – I tend to end up with both MS and Sony in my house – but this thing has made the next generation a lot more interesting and given MS a fighting chance.

    If Sony had produced enough units AND not stuffed this launch up, they could have just about won the next ‘console war’ before it even started. Not an outright smashing like the old ‘Saturn’ and ‘Dreamcast’ days, but maybe around the ratios of PS2 vs OG Xbox (which I think was about 3 to 1).

    • Too bad there is this whole pandemic causing all kinds of chaos, all over the world.

      Do you seriously think Sony purposely didnt produce enough units, on purpose? That makes no sense, they are the leader going into the game, there is zero benefit to them not supply enough units.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if this was retailers’ fault, jumping the gun as soon as they confirmed their stock allocations and price.

    Not that it’s going to teach Sony any kind of lesson. People are mad that they can’t throw money at Sony fast enough. What a problem to have! Every retailer to go live sold out within literally minutes, not hours. That’s gotta be a good sign as far as Sony’s concerned.

    • Yeah, I feel like if the retailers had just cooled their jets and waited for info regarding a pretty-order time/date, then Sony wouldn’t have ended up having to apologise. I mean, maybe Sony should have predicted this and written a street date into to their stock allocation contracts (if that’s even a thing), but it seems like retailers just saw dollar signs and started a frenzy.

      • It’s almost like worldwide launches across multiple retailers, and the opening/announcement of pre orders is a unique thing only to Sony, who obviously must have never attempted anything like that before – and we should blame those retailers, because no other manufacturer has ever done such a tricky process of launching a new consumer electronic device worlwide before.

        Or we could point out this was poorly managed, not well planned, and there may be some issues with the current Sony management.

        Nah, must be the retailers. Or bots. Or literally anything but Sony’s fault.

        • Poorly managed situation and not well planned for sure but it’s not the catastrophic disaster that some folks are making out to be.

          Sony has traditionally left retailers to handle their own preorders and retailers have traditionally opened their orders on the back of a price announcement which is exactly what happened this time.

          Sure, a lot of people missed out and are disappointed but seeing it all unfold it’s clear the only difference a dated worldwide preorder launch would’ve achieved is a lot of people missing out and being disappointed on a schedule.

    • Don’t announce that pre orders are available the day before, that’s asking for trouble.

      If they’d given everyone plenty time, like they promised, this would not have happened. Plus, they are clearly struggling with production

      • Wait… what wouldn’t have happened? People wouldn’t have missed out? Or do you mean the right people wouldn’t have missed out?

        • Well as stated, they are clearly having production issues but now they’ve announced more pre orders will be avaible. Clearly they should have taken stock of how many consoles they will have to to sell by November 12th. By now they will 100% know that number, so hold your pre orders another week or 2, give everyone enough time to have a proper shot at pre ordering and announce an official time, like Microsoft have (8am).

          The entire thing was and is one big annoying F up by Sony.

  • The cynic in me says that there are plenty of consoles but Sony is artificially restricting stock to keep hype and demand high… Like Nvidia with the RTX 3000 lineup and what Nintendo does constantly.

    • or the far more likely scenario that 2020 is just being rubbish for them as it has been for virtually everyone in the world.

  • So preorders open early, everyone scrambles, allotted stock gets snatched up quick by eager customers vs. Preorders open correctly at set time, everyone scrambles, allotted stock gets snatched up quick by eager customers. What’s the difference in the end?

    • People who were prepared to wait for advice on a specific time think they’re more deserving of a preorder than people who were constantly checking and refreshing non-stop as soon as there was new information?

      I feel like it was just the illusion of an orderly queue. People get riled up when there’s no queue or there’s perceived queue-jumpers, despite the fact that it was always going to be a fucking mad, chaotic, first-come-first-served scramble.

      From the comments here, it seems like maybe some folks were at work/had other obligations, not paying attention, didn’t have the cynical suspicion (like I did) that preorders might ‘break street date’, or they were otherwise unable to log on, and feel cheated that they couldn’t make plans to be available for a better spot in that scramble.

    • To explain why I’m dirty about this – I feel like I wasn’t given a fair shot to get an order in. We’ve been waiting for the pre-order process to be confirmed for months and then I get home from work a find out all the pre-Christmas stock is already sold out. I didn’t even know preorders had opened.

      I can handle being bumped in the queue, but the way in went down I didn’t even get to try.

      • That’s fair.

        Who’d you have your confirmation with?
        I was with JB and emails went out around 10 minutes after the listing went live and then closed in another 20, it was pretty crazy.

  • Honestly it feels like Walmart just ignored the street date then all the other stores followed. Seems kind of unfair to blame Sony 100%, but yeah it could of been better.

    Interestingly I got a ps5 preorder because I got an email and looked around, and found a store that had stock and got one. (target Australia)

    Meanwhile I didn’t get a 3080 despite being online and hitting f5 at the allocated time of release because everybody crashed every computer stores website at the same time and they where gone when the dust settled. Seems like people where going to get screwed either way.

  • So if multiple companies were individually going to send an email to notify of preorders starting, how does that become Sony’s sole responsibility?
    We’ve had multiple games break street date from multiple companies here in Aus (EBgames, JBHifi) when Sony has had distinct launch dates.
    Fairly easy to say this didn’t play out as planned, considering straight after the show preorders weren’t open in many websites I visited but half an hour later they were. Seems to me someone got ahead of themselves and other retailers followed suit. I’m hearing that seems to be the case with Walmart in the US.

  • So, now that Microsoft’s console has sold out of preorders and everyone’s complaining about payment systems shitting the bed while bots were all lined up and ready to start scalping, whose preorder launch should we consider the biggest clusterfuck?

  • If it makes anyone feel any better, I got in on a pre-order with Sony directly on the 17th and just received the following email:

    Thank you for your recent order. As you are likely aware, there has been a huge demand for the PlayStation®5 console and we thank you for your patience. Sony can advise that your order is part of our second shipment allocation.
    Your expected delivery date is December 2020
    Team Sony

    Just… Wow!
    Can’t even commit to a date!
    Interested to know if this is a common issue?

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