Pre-orders for the Xbox X + S and PS5 series were pretty much a disaster every time they showed up. Hordes of potential buyers hooked up with hordes of bot resellers to crash websites, leaving few real people with pre-orders, orders in hand or email or whatever. That was the case yesterday with some new pre-orders from electronics reseller Antonline, which warned of extremely limited inventory and then crashed about 5 minutes before those stocks were made available. I’m having a hard time finding anyone who received an actual order on social media, but we assume that at least some were actually sold, either to people or to bots.
This pre-order round was kind of a surprise, as were hardly any other pre-orders that became available after the first round. Neither Microsoft nor Sony have much control over what retailers do with their inventory, but neither have they signaled that we should expect much more before it actually releases. For its part, Microsoft has only announced that more inventory will be available on launch day, November 10th.
As the Antonline debacle – as well as previous debacles – demonstrate, these things are very difficult to come by right now, and the intensity of these debacles suggests that supply may be extremely limited later in the year. Even if new inventory is made available prior to launch – something that is not guaranteed to happen in significant numbers – it will likely go away instantly, as we did in these previous rounds. On eBay, I see PS5 pre-orders with bids north of $ 99.
So your next big chance will come at launch, but even then it looks like it will be difficult. I would expect quick sell-outs and bot armies then, just like pre-orders.
If you’re trying to get one of these as a gift, good luck as it will likely be an uphill battle for some time. If you’re trying to get one of these for yourself I would recommend taking a breath. This seems like a particularly smooth transition between generations of consoles, and current-generation console owners will be able to play almost all major games this fall. These things are shiny and new and fun, but waiting a few months is more conceivable than ever this time around. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassins Creed Valhalla should make the wait a little faster.
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