Sony has done a great job in showcasing its games prior to the November 12th launch of its PlayStation 5 console. Buzz on social media, and the internet is at all time high levels, and the company is heading towards a total sell out of its Next Generation console over the Holidays.
The company has a lot to celebrate about, but it has also opened a small window of opportunity for Microsoft to capitalize on, but screwing up its pre-order opening date, and back tracking on the it’s “We believe in generations” marketing mantra.
You have $500? Good. Want a PS5 on launch day? Great. You haven’t preordered a unit yet? You probably won’t get one on launch day.
After Sony‘s latest reveal, in which the company showcased its launch lineup of titles, and the price points of both iterations of the PS5 (Standard, and Digital), the company closed the presentation by announcing a launch date, and no pre-order schedule was mentioned.
Then, soon after the presentation, Sony unveiled this tweet:
PS5 pre-orders will be available starting as early as tomorrow at select retailers.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 16, 2020
Now, we live in the age of social media, but still, the tweet was an unconventional, and perhaps ineffective way to announce its pre-order opening date.
The issue here was, that everyone – including retailers- were caught with their ‘pants down’. Retailers, as one would expect, began to take pre-orders as soon as the tweet flooded social media.
Walmart being one of the very first to announce that there would be ‘no wait’ for its customers, and less than an hour later they were already taking pre-orders.
Others like GameStop, and Amazon did the same. With thousands, if not millions of customers flooding their sites in order to order the PS5, many had technical issues which kept people from ordering the system, and others (GameStop) didn’t even have a page ready to take orders on the system.
It was a mess, and many, if not most of the costumers that wanted a PS5 on launch day were left without an order. Perhaps, worst all, there are reports some people that did manage to place a PS5 on their online shopping cart, only for the system to mysteriously disappear from said cart minutes later.
Amazon sold out all of its PS5 orders before September 17th even began. As expected, Amazon didn’t really have a concise numbers of how many units it would get from Sony at the time (no one really did), and today, the company made an announcement that even if customers did manage to win the PS5 lottery when they were taking pre-orders…they might not get one at launch, ouch!
While all of this mess, might seem like a good thing for Sony, after all, the PS5 did sell out completely with in hours, if not minutes, many customers were left out in the cold, and perhaps, remain bitter at the company for breaking its July promise.
PlayStation’s World Wide Marketing head, Eric Lempel, promised back in July that Sony would give “Plenty of Advance notice” as to when the PS5 pre-orders would start. So much for empty promises.
Microsoft already took advantage of this, by presenting a more sensible, and time friendly pre-order date.
Pre-order 👉 September 22
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
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 17, 2020
In the end, Microsoft might sell less Xbox Series X/S consoles than Sony will with its PS5, but at least its customers (and retailers) have a clear date set in stone, in order to make the necessary preparations needed to order one of its systems.
It might not matter in the end, but it shows that Sony is taking for granted the big advantage that it has going into the Holidays. The company slapped both customers, and retailers on the face with its ‘out of the blue’ Pre-order announcement.
Sony: “We believe in Generations!” But…
…They also believe in the profits that a massive 112-115 million PS4 install base yields for its software.
To be fair, both, Spider Man: Miles Morales, and Horizon Forbidden West began their development on the PlayStation 4 a few years ago. It is difficult to ask a game that far along in its development cycle to make a pure “next-gen” jump within a year.
Microsoft, and 343 Industries can testify to this, their intent on releasing Halo Infinite across all of its current and next-generation consoles proved to be a disastrous one that forced the company to delay the project into next year, as it will missed its original scheduled November release date.
Also, Sony, (and its fanboys) made a big deal – marketing wise – about the PlayStation 5 having Next-Generation games and the Xbox Series X ‘s games being held back by the Xbox One.
What goes around, comes around, and as it turns out; at least two of the biggest PS5 titles in Spider Man: Miles Morales, and Horizon Forbidden West will be, in fact, held back by the PS4.
Cross-generational games aren’t necessarily a bad thing, many customers can’t upgrade to a new console for a few years after its launch, and Sony has a much bigger market to target with its exclusives when the PS4 installed base of users is taken into consideration.
What makes “Cross-Gen” particularly harmful to Sony’s image is the fact that the company, unlike Microsoft, was not upfront about its intention of releasing cross-generation games all along.
PS5 Games Will Be Priced at $69.99
The same as Xbox Series X/S games, with an important difference, Microsoft has promised its entire exclusive lineup on Xbox’s Game Pass service from day one.
For a monthly fee of $14.99, you can play at least 100 different games, from different Xbox generations on Xbox One consoles right now, and the service will carryover to the Xbox Series S/X. Some current generation big hitters such as Red Dead Redemption, and The Witcher 3, are now available on the service.
Some costumers wary of paying $70 per game on the upcoming generation will feel tempted by Microsoft’s offering, as Sonys PS Now service – unlike Xbox’s Game Pass – doesn’t let you download all of its games (fast internet for streaming is a must), and Sony’s first party exclusives can take months, and even years before they are offered on the streaming service.
While Microsoft will have to up the ante on its first party offerings, and in convincing some of the big third party publishers to offer some of their biggest titles on the service, it has the upper hand on this regard.
Should Sony Be Concerned?
Perhaps not in the short term, as the way things are looking the PS5 will sell out everywhere for the foreseeable future. There are bound to be some bitter parents and customers, however, that might be tempted to jump ship if the Xbox Series X/S is more readily available on the Holidays. Retaining, and regaining Customer trust is important for any brand, and Sony might have lost some of them with its pre-order blunder.
Agree with the author? Couldn’t disagree more and are frothing at the mouth to tell him? Leave a comment here, on Facebook or send an email and make sure to follow Never Ending Realm on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!