Sony finally shared a price and release date for the PS5 during their September 16 showcase, with Jim Ryan even throwing in a cheeky "so now you know" for good measure.
Unfortunately, the one thing left that we didn't know was when pre-orders would begin.
Some thought it’d be the following day while others sat patiently waiting on the email notification that Sony was supposed to send out.
Few anticipated pre-orders would begin that very same night and with little to no warning.
It felt like one minute, people were speculating over the pre-order start date, and the next minute people were swarming Walmart, Target, GameStop, and Best Buy in an attempt to pre-order a PS5.
Sony said they'd give us "plenty of advanced notice" but that promise meant little to retailers hungry for that sweet, sweet pre-order money.
Last Night’s PS5 Pre-Order Situation Was Chaos
As quickly as pre-orders were made available online at Walmart, Target, GameStop, and Best Buy, stock ran out.
If you didn't see an "Out of Stock" message, you might've run into other issues such as GameStop's website not loading due to an overload in traffic, and being unable to checkout at Best Buy no matter how many times you pressed the button.
Amazon waited and made their pre-orders available around midnight (at least we think it was midnight, time doesn’t feel real anymore) and like all of the other retailers offering PS5 pre-orders, “Currently Unavailable” popped up and that was it, you were out of luck.
It kind of felt like that weird situation here in the United States at the beginning of the year where everyone decided to buy up all of the toilet paper and paper towels.
You’d walk into stores and see row after row of bare shelves where the toilet paper would’ve been. It was chaotic, stressful, and made shopping a constant source of disappointment.
With gamers being understandably upset at the lack of notice, the Xbox Twitter account clapped back with an extra spicy response:
Pre-order 👉 September 22— Xbox (@Xbox) September 17, 2020
Worldwide launch in 36 countries 👉 November 10
Hype 👉 9000+
(don’t worry - we’ll let you know the exact time pre-orders start for you soon) pic.twitter.com/SLUrrtszyN
Others had their own responses to the PS5 pre-order chaos on Twitter. Below, we’ve embedded a few of our personal favorites.
Sony: pre orders go live tomorrow :)— Felicia Miranda (@feliciavagabond) September 17, 2020
Trying to pre-order a PS5 pic.twitter.com/WzsFXDaCO9— Gustavo Sorola (@sorola) September 17, 2020
me thinking I’m gonna nab a PS5 preorder: pic.twitter.com/gdZAlpVV8O— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) September 17, 2020
either I’ve failed to preorder a ps5 or I’ve accidentally ordered 30 ps5s— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) September 17, 2020
Trying to pre-order a PlayStation 5... pic.twitter.com/IaA3LgW4Tt— PlayStation 5 - PS5 News (@PS5Updates) September 17, 2020
Trying to preorder a PlayStation 5 right now through sheer force of will.— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) September 16, 2020
The PS5 isn’t the only hot item going out of stock within minutes of being made available as Nvidia’s RTX 3080 suffered the same fate earlier today.
We’re curious to see what the situation will look like when Xbox pushes pre-orders for the Series S and Series X go live on September 22.
Will they sell out as quickly? It’ll be interesting to compare the pre-order response for each console.
Right now, the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X hit store shelves on November 10 followed by the PlayStation 5 on November 12.
Hopefully stores are prepared to handle the in-person demand in November and we don't get a repeat of what happened online. Fingers crossed.
We also sincerely hope that everyone who wants to get a PS5 and/or Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X is able to get one in time for the holidays.
To those of you who were able to pre-order a PS5 (or an RTX 3080 today), we salute you. To those who weren’t, we wish you luck in your pre-order quest!
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