Community Review: PS5, Xbox Series X

Community Review: PS5, Xbox Series X
Image: Sony

With preorder confirmations finally going out, people are starting to learn whether they’ll be switching between multiple games at once, or waiting a little bit longer.

So, for today’s Community Review — and because I’m finally back from break! — I want to know what your experience with the PS5 and Xbox Series X preorder madness was like.

The messaging around preorders was all over the shop for Sony, but in Australia at least people seemed to be able to get their preorders in as soon as possible. That still didn’t help the fact that demand is still massively outstripping supply, not just because it’s a new console generation but the added interest in gaming because of COVID-19.

Unsurprisingly, the Xbox Series X was hard to come by as well. Buyers in Australia at least had a few more options thanks to the Xbox All Access program, which was slightly cheaper than buying an Xbox Series X or S outright. Given that most people tend to keep their consoles for a full generation, unless it stops working or they upgrade and pass the console onto someone else, the Telstra offer was a good deal.

Unless you weren’t a Telstra customer, in which case you couldn’t get it.

Microsoft were more forward on their messaging, taking a leaf from Sony’s book. But there doesn’t seem to have been as many consoles in Australia as the PS5, so naturally stock dried up real fast. EB Games blew through their first wave stock in 14 minutes, and JB had to similarly suspend preorders.

Microsoft has started emailing users internationally about more Xbox Series X and S stock through the Microsoft site, although that’s not expected to be available until later this month (and only for Xbox All Access users). How that works out locally isn’t known yet, but it is at least nice to see the companies do something to try and get more people in the first or second wave.

On the retailer side, things haven’t been perfect either. Some stores took preorders only to cancel them after sending confirmations, which is a supremely shitty move. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why retailers might have to do this, but it’s still garbage for consumers, because they don’t have the option of going back in time and spending their money elsewhere with a retailer that will honour the preorder. It’s even worse in Target’s instance, because they took payment in full. Harvey Norman looks like they’ve done this as well, with one Kotaku Australia reader not getting a refund even after their order was cancelled.

Crappy move, Gerry.

So for everyone who tried to get in on the first wave, how’d you do? Has your preorder confirmation held strong? Are you getting the console before Christmas at least, or did you opt to wait until 2021 when more next-gen optimised games are released? Let us know in the comments!


  • My pre-order for the PS5 was alright. I woke up at 7am to watch a replay of the announcement. My cousin called me to talk about the trailers, then said midway through the call that EB Games pre-orders were live so I jumped pre-ordered while on the call with him. No issues because it was just about 8am when I made the pre-order so no one was aware at the time they were up. Pretty lucky I think because I avoided the site going down and potential bits trying to preorder as many as possible

  • I watched the Sony announcement stuff, then started checking store pages for preorders for the next half-hour or so because I had a suspicion retailers would just go the minute a price was confirmed, no matter what anyone – including Sony – was saying about ‘as early as tomorrow’.

    I turned out to be correct. My EB preorder was confirmed as soon as I put the order through, nice and smooth, and my Amazon order confirmed shortly after.

    I also predicted that having a day-and-time for preorders for Microsoft would result in a whole bunch of crashed sites and mass scalper orders. Sure enough, my twitter feed was full of people sighing at not being able to get one. (“But at least we had a fairer chance this time!” No you didn’t. The bots were always going to beat you.)

    Re: the xsxsxsx, I figured I’d look into the Microsoft-direct pay-as-you-go plan, because while I wasn’t AS interested, I’m definitely going to end up with both and that looked like an affordable way to do it. Turns out it’s Telstra customers only, so fuck that I’ll wait.

    Now I’m looking forward to news coming out that goes up and down. More games postponed from launch, boo! PS5/xsx run current-gen games 4K at 60fps yay! They won’t all be backwards compatible or even necessarily accept old saves, boo. Some games are getting free upgrades yay! Others aren’t, boo.
    Etc, etc.

    One month and a bit to go. Interesting times.

    • After I thought Sony dropped the ball massively with pre orders I kinda wish micrsoft made the same mistake. I was waiting keenly at 8am refersing jb, eb and Amazon. Both jb and eb let me get a series x into my cart but neither would let me pay for the darn thing. It took me until 8:25am to get an order through at JB and now I’ve been informed I’m not getting a launch console. “Just before Christmas” are JBs exact words. So so so upset.

      Amazon sales simply never came online while I was watching it for the first few hours of pre order

      Anyone want to swap my Christmas console for your launch console? Perphase a parent buying one for Christmas present? A man can dream haha

      • That sucks. I know a lot of folks in the same position, hanging out for the promise of more pre-christmas preorders.

        If it helps (and I assume it doesn’t), ‘before Christmas’ could mean anywhere from 1 week after launch to almost 6 weeks after launch, and Cyberpunk doesn’t come out til like… a week and a half after launch, so there’s every chance there might be shipping start bang on around the same time!

  • I jumped on the JB page at 9am the morning after the showcase since retailers have always traditionally opened preorders on price announcements.
    I was lucky enough to get in, get a confirmation and received what appears to be a positive second confirmation yesterday afternoon for a possible launch PS5. (Fingers crossed)

  • Woke up day of PS5 showcase, received email from JB saying pre-orders were live. Once I got on to the site it said that they had suspended preorders due to overwhelming demand, so I quickly made my way over to the Sony website and was lucky enough to put the full $750 down and pre-order and disc console. Expected to arrive mid-November (launch day I hope?!) Stoked to say the least.

  • Didn’t try in the PS5 madness, because I won’t touch Sony with a ten-foot pole, but the XSX pre-ordering was, uh… ‘fun’. Was online at a quarter to eight, boggled at the Bethesda news for a while, then attempted to order one from EB Games. No luck, stuck in the ‘add credit card details’ death loop. Tried at JB, couldn’t get anything to checkout. Looked at Amazon – all gone by the time I got there. Finally looked at the Microsoft store where, by some bizarre miracle, at about 8:15 I was able to get a pre-order through. Had my confirmation by 8:16. I even called for confirmation, and I should be in the launch-day shipment.

    But through all of that, y’know what I didn’t see once? Any kind of ‘are-you-human’ check. Not one retailer thought that it might just maybe be a good idea to try to weed out the scalper’s bots.

    Honestly? Between this and all the other launches and events this year that got hit by scalpers (from stuff like the 3080, the limited edition 40k box set, Super Mario 3d All Stars, the Switch, the Mario Game and Watch… to vastly more important things like toilet paper, hand sanitiser and face masks), I’m hoping that something is done to try to deal with what’s getting to be an out-of-control issue. Either from stores, or from lawmakers, or hopefully both. Scalping has reached a point where it’s making it nearly impossible to carry out normal business operations around any product that’s even remotely in demand.

    • its not an out of control issue, scalpers have always been there and they always will. It is hardly unique or getting worse. No matter what steps are taken scalpers with always find always around it. It is simply what they do. In some senses they are far better at mobilising than a lot of professional companies. I am not justifying them, merely pointing their strengths.

      • Yup. The best way to fight scalpers is still – as it always has been – to not buy their overpriced product and let them make zero fucking profit.

        Or, in the case of Sony, start staggered random preorder availability that no-one has any time to plan for, including botters.

  • PS5 was simple, but I think demand was aggregated because we woke up into the news. If you checked the news, getting a PS5 was easy, if you didn’t see the news, no PS5 for you.

    The Xbox was hell though. I think mostly because plenty of people missed out on PS5’s, and because of the known availability time, everyone except Telstra crashed. Thus, I got a Telstra Xbox.

    Thankfully later in the day, I was able to snag another Xbox from EB Games (bro’s xmas present), so apart from swearing at not being able to check out and EB charging me twice throughout the day, my preorder experience was both relatively successful, and relatively stress free.

  • Got my PS5 hours after the announcement from Harvey Norman (it was either there or Sony and at least HN has a nearby storefront if I have a problem). Hasnt been cancelled thus far. Hoping it stays that way but it’s really not the end of the world if it doesn’t.

    Not going with an Xbox this time around. My Xbone was basically a 4k player and Microsoft are still not offering anything that my PC doesn’t.

  • It was okay for me. I watched the PS5 thing, and they didn’t announce a date so I went back to bed, but annoyingly I couldn’t sleep. So thought I would check EB for any info. Preorders were up (inset the normal online presales problems, like non saved credit cards details, wrong password etc), then hit BUY. And got it. PHEW walked away and thought I would just check something and they had sold out. SO I got the first shipment by a matter of minutes. That said, I am not going to get excited until it is in my hands.

    PS went into my local store and they said they are planning to handle all the trade in stuff and payments the week before, which makes sense, but what IF the situation changes? Does that mean I will be without a console for some length of time?

  • Woke up the morning of the PS5 showcase. Looked up the details – pricing about as expected.
    At around 9:30am a colleague told me that pre-orders were open so I jumped onto JB Hifi’s website – put in my order and was done.
    All in all, painless.

  • Had a work meeting @ 7am and finished around 8am and remembered ‘oh yeah they were announcing it today’ and went and checked and pre-order pages up so just ordered it with no delays or issues then went and had breakfast.

  • Woke up at like 5:45 am, just in time for the PS5’s showcase event, and then I pretty much stayed up from there. Went to go browse through Twitter like I normally do, and noticed that EB sent out a tweet at 7:50 AM saying pre-orders would go live at 8 AM (in 10 minutes) and so I was easily able to jump on and pre-order mine without any issues whatsoever.

    Given that the RTX 3080 launch was later that night, lets just say I was much more tired after staying up trying to get one of those.

  • Stayed home late specifically for the 8am pre-order frenzy of the XSX. Ordered went through about 3 past. Confirmation from JB at 8 past. But still no idea if I’ll get a day 1 console given their wonderful caveat stating they can’t guarantee anyone will get one on day 1. If I don’t thugh JB will have a lot of explaining to do.

  • Preordered the series X through Telstra. I have to admit it’s looking like the stronger machine thanks to its ecosystem atm. Was lucky on the morning of the PS5 to be messaged by a salesman to jump on and preorder. So I’ll pay off the Xbox and trade my Pro for the PS5. Should be good for launch day. Now… about that 3080…

  • Alex, surely you have the ear of the folks at Xbox ANZ, surely you can pass on to them how completely tone deaf it is to make the otherwise affordable All Access plan restricted to the most expensive telco in Australia

  • Xbox: had all the sites open before 8am, but was prioritising the Microsoft store, EB Games, and JB Hifi. I clicked on the order buttons for all three sites, but I was having issues with passwords on EB Games, so switched to Microsoft and JB Hifi, and got through cleanly before 8:05-8:10. I got confirmation e-mails pretty soon after from both stores, but it looks like I’m only getting the MS store order at launch, because I got a text and e-mail on the weekend from JB Hifi, saying that I wouldn’t get a Series X at launch, but before Christmas.

  • Prefer Microsoft’s decision to have a time even if it’s difficult – over Sony just trying to slip their preorders in before Xbox because they were too slow to announce any news

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