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PlayStation 5 pre-orders were a complete fiasco

Gaming fans who wanted to get their hands on a PlayStation 5 following yesterday’s price reveal livestream had a chaotic night, as piecemeal pre-orders for Sony’s upcoming console left many scrambling.

The problems started shortly after the stream ended, when Sony tweeted that pre-orders would start the following day.

That plan quickly went out the window when pre-orders began on Walmart’s website hours later. The console was sold out within minutes.

As the night went on, several other retailers followed suit without warning. Retailers like Target and Best Buy put listings up, only to take them down just as quickly. To make matters more complicated, users experienced a host of problems when trying to order from these sites. Many reported that they were able to get the console into their cart, but were unable to checkout.

Things were even worse for those trying to buy from GameStop. People who went to the site’s PS5 page were greeted by an error message saying that users were “blocked” and unable to access the website.

Wow, you didn't have to take it that personally.

— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) September 16, 2020

The situation is especially confusing considering that Sony had set up its own pre-order notification system weeks before. Fans could sign up to an email list to be notified when pre-orders were available, despite not knowing the price of the console. Those who signed up, however, didn’t receive an email from the account until hours after the system had gone on sale and sold out at various retailers.

Earlier this summer, Sony insisted that it would give fans a fair warning before pre-orders began. In an interview with Geoff Keighley during Summer Game Fest, PlayStation’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Eric Lempel assured fans that the company had a plan in place.

“I think it’s safe to say, we’ll let you know when pre-order will happen. It’s not going to happen with a minute’s notice. We’re going to at some point let you know when you can pre-order a PlayStation 5 so don’t feel like you have to run out and line up anywhere until you receive official notice on how that’ll work.”

Microsoft took the opportunity to add insult to injury by tweeting out the September 22 pre-order date for the Xbox Series X and Series X and adding, “Don’t worry – we’ll let you know the exact time pre-orders start for you soon.”

Digital Trends reached out to Sony and GameStop for comment and will update this story with responses.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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