Thursday 17 September 2020

PS5 pre-order midnight madness

Following last evening's PlayStation 5 (PS5) showcase and the announcement that pre-orders, for the disc-based and all-digital systems, would go live on Thursday morning, some retailers started taking pre-orders at midnight: leading to chaos, confusion and online retail sites crashing. Thereby souring the excitement for many consumers during the shared trauma of a global pandemic.

Without warning, Game, Smyths Toys, Walmart and Best Buy in the US began taking pre-orders and these sold out within minutes. I was fortunate enough to secure the disc-based PS5 from Smyths Toys (before switching to Amazon and ordering accessories) and alerted members of my PlayStation group on Facebook.

This morning (affiliate link) sold out of its initial allocation. There is no guarantee of further stock until early 2021. However, pre-orders begin at Argos on Friday morning. So, it's worth following the likes of IGN UK Deals on Twitter.

Regarding the showcase itself. It was curious to see selected PS5 exclusives confirmed for PS4. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Horizon Forbidden West will be available for the current gen console.

However, some gamers are concerned this flies against the platform's ethos of generational change, seemingly holding back the development of PS5 titles and negates the need to upgrade for the foreseeable future. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan countenances this during an interview with The Washington Post.

“No one should be disappointed,” Ryan said. “The PS5 versions of those games are built from the ground up to take advantage of the PS5 feature set, and we have an upgrade path for PS4 users to get the PS5 versions for free. It’s about people having choice. I’m really quite pleased about the situation.”

Sony taking a page out of Microsoft's cross-gen playbook for Xbox and it's worth noting the PS4 has an install base of over 112 million units since launching in 2013. That's a lot of money to leave on the table.

“The PS4 community will continue to be incredibly important to us for three or four years,” Ryan said. “Many will transition to PS5, we hope if we do our job well, but tens of millions will still be engaged with the PS4.”

God of War: Ragnarok was officially announced as a PS5-only exclusive.

The PlayStation Plus Collection will grant existing PlayStation Plus subscribers (myself included) access to the following curated first and third-party titles day-one on PS5:

God of War
The Last of Us: Remastered
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Battlefield 1
Monster Hunter World
Fallout 4
Final Fantasy XV
The Last Guardian
Ratchet and Clank
Infamous: Second Son
Days Gone
Detroit: Become Human
Batman: Arkham Knight
Mortal Kombat X
Persona 5
Until Dawn
Resident Evil: Biohazard

It's no Game Pass rival for sure. But, it does mean I can trade-in physical copies to partly fund my PS5 purchase.

The formation of PlayStation Studios will only strengthen the brand and Sony is now exploring new ways to capitalise on its franchises with live-action adaptations of Uncharted and The Last of Us.

The PS5 goes on sale 19th November in the UK. A week after Microsoft's Xbox Series S and X. However, pent-up demand for Sony's latest console may far exceed that of Microsoft's leading to scalpers making hay on the secondary market this holiday season.

Did you try pre-ordering a PS5? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. And it was all going so well. I was lucky to bag an Amazon PS5 pre-order fairly easily on Thursday morning, but that wasn't the story for many. It seems many retailers took it upon themselves to decide when pre-orders should open, and if I were Sony I'd be taking a very dim view of that. It will only reflect badly on them. It'll be interesting to see if retailers conform to Microsoft's pre-order embargo. Still despite all, there's no denying the thrill of expecting delivery of a new PS5 on 19th November...

    1. There are reports of retailers cancelling pre-orders, which is what happened to me with the Wii and PS3.

      Am looking forward to unboxing the disc-based PS5 and using it as a media centre too.

      Hopefully, the PS5's 'space age' form factor won't suffer from the jet engine of the day-one PS3 and PS4!

  2. It's been a long year and it feels like the Road to PS5 is almost over. I managed to secure my preorder thanks to John and others more local as I was having dinner by the time.

    Luckily, I was able to secure a disc version from Best Buy with little to no hassle. I remember how it was for both PS3 and PS4 -- just absolute chaos. Despite preorders opening early, (since Sony didn't say when preorders would start in the live stream) I imagine that along with poor management of retailers was the cause.

    I blame both Sony and the retailers for this whole mess but I think it worked out fine. There were hints that Sony didn't have enough units for everyone who wanted one on release day and we live in a world where people can build bot scripts to buy dozens of stock from retailers for scalping like others have did with with nVIDIA's 3070 and 3080 GPUs.

    My preorder experience was simple. The site wasn't slow, didn't hitch at all and stock was consistent while the news spread. The digital version sold out significantly faster here but would be replenished periodically over the next couple hours. After messaging others around me we all got ours so everything's good.

    "We are all about generations."

    Still a true statement. I figured there would be overlap since both the PS4 and PS5 share the same architecture so it'd be a bit more muddled compared to years' past. I understand that people want these games to take full advantage of the PS5's feature set and I believe they will... to a degree. PS5 Dev tools are in their infancy. It takes time for developers to get used to them.

    Unfortunately we're in the middle of a pandemic so people are restless and want all the content as fast as possible. The launch titles for PS5 are easily better than what we received in 2013. Sure, Sony still had 2 AAA titles but Knack wasn't exactly flying off the shelves. The other was Killzone: Shadowfall. It was decent but not memorable in any way.

    Anyways, the PlayStation Plus Collection is no Xbox Game Pass. What it provides is value for new owners and while Sony can't compete with sheer content these are the best titles of the past 7 years. Hundreds of hours of games for those that just want something they haven't played before. I think it's a win.

    1. Always happy to help out a friend and fellow gamer.

      All these years on, Killzone: Shadowfall still impresses with its visual fidelity and was my goto PS4 tech demo until the release of stablemate Horizon Zero Dawn. Can't wait to experience Gorilla Games' Horizon Forbidden West.

      In the meantime, I'll be kept busy with the PlayStation Plus Collection and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales this holiday season.

  3. I too managed to get a PS5 preorder thanks to yourself Johm.

    I wasn't 100% certain if I was going to go down the Sony route this gen or not. Knowing that I had seconds to decide, meant I grabbed my credit card and ordered a digital edition from Smyths toys.

    I had both consoles current gen, owning (and selling) a PS4 twice. I had a bit of a run in with Sony after my PS+ automatically renewed itself as I'd forgotten to cancel the auto-renew. I realised the moment the transaction left my bank account, contacted Sony - told them I had no way to consume the service but they refused to give me a refund.

    I performed a chargeback on my account, and got the money back.

    When I got another PS4 (for Spider-man), I was locked out of my account due to it being in poor standing. I had to go through the rigmoral of buying PS gift vouchers, sending the codes to customer services and waiting 3 weeks for them to apply to my account and unlock my account.

    Times were a little hard so I ended up selling that PS4 before Spider-Man released. So I still haven't played it.

    Historically I've always preferred the curvier XBox style pads and not gotten on well with the smaller, boxier PS style pads but the PS5 one looks okay.

    I really, really want to play spiderman (and Miles Moralis), I've always liked some of the PS VR stuff and keep holding myself back from buying an Oculus Quest.

    I'll be trying to get an Xbox Series X Tuesday and if I do, I'll have to weigh up whether or not I can afford to spend the best part of £800 on new hardware or whether the One X I currently have will see me over for a few more months.

    I also need to have an audit of my digital PS4 catalogue, figure out what backwards compatibility looks like and what PS4 games I might be able to pick up for relatively cheap.

    If I do decide I don't want the PS5, I'll check with friends/family to see if they want to take over the preorder and then if not, I'll cancel it to release it back into the wild rather than turn a profit.

    I just know that Sony didn't give me enough time beween price announcement and preorders opening to make an informed decision.

    1. Again, you're always welcome, buddy!

      Pre-PlayStation Network (PSN) hack, I was a self-confessed PS fanboy following the collapse of SEGA as a console manufacturer and pretty much exclusively played on the platform with the occasional diversion into Nintendo's GameCube and Wii. My original Xbox became a worthless paperweight due to it being a potential fire hazard and I swore I'd never buy another Microsoft console.

      However, the PSN hack has left a permanent bitter aftertaste and, as you may recall, I won an Xbox 360 S from LOVEFiLM (now Amazon Prime Video) in 2012. Discovered the original Mass Effect trilogy and was hooked, especially as the controller was superior to the DualShock (DS). Because long 'piano' fingers.

      I became so smitten with the Xbox 360 S; I sold my PS3 Slim. Eagerly awaited the Xbox One and then that infamous E3 announcement all but put me off buying it! So, PS4 was a day-one purchase with Killzone: Shadowfall. The following year, I picked up an Xbox One with Titanfall in an Easter Bank Holiday weekend sale.

      In November 2017, I didn't hesitate to order an Xbox One X Project Scorpio edition (alongside a Nintendo Switch for all things Mario and Zelda) and it has remained my primary console to this day. Game Pass has only added to its value and Microsoft has been very generous with it rewards programme. Conversely, Sony has never bothered and most recently I missed out on a free 6-month subscription to Netflix.

      The PS5 has piqued my interest as I'm in the market to replace my ageing PS4. The Series X is too much of an outlay due to ongoing socio-economic uncertainty and the urgent need to replace my iMac (Late 2006) before the end of the year.

      Will await your further thoughts with interest.


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