When gamers will be able to get their hands on the PS4 and Xbox One has been a hot topic since E3, when Sony said “this holiday” for a general PS4 release date and Microsoft said “November” for the Xbox One release date. During the hubbub of E3, we reported the PS4 release date could be mid-November, based on a press release that EA sent out for Need for Speed Rivals. However, looking at revised pre-order data from Amazon, Sony’s next console may in fact ship well earlier than anyone expected.
Over the weekend, the PS4 release date for several games as shown at Amazon was moved to a date well in advance of Nov. 19, which was the PS4 release date we’d originally speculated on from EA. COD: Ghosts for PS4, for instance, is shown on Amazon as releasing on Nov. 5. Meanwhile, Battlefield 4 for PS4, is shown with a PS4 release date even earlier, on Oct. 29.
Traditionally, game publishers and hardware manufacturers list the last day of a month as the item’s release date so consumers have a general idea of when the game or console may release. In Sony’s case, if you search for any first-party PS4 games or hardware bundles, you’ll see “December 31” listed, which clearly keeps Sony from tipping their hand about the PS4 release date. Microsoft, meanwhile, has the Xbox One release date as November 27, which is the day before Thanksgiving and thus puts the Xbox One releasing just in time for Black Friday sales.
In the case of the Xbox One release date, the day before Thanksgiving could be a possibility, although it’s likely that Microsoft would want to get more of a jump on retail sales. This could hold particularly true considering Xbox One pre-orders are picking up steam at Amazon but haven’t yet neared Sony in overall volume. In addition, Sony currently has four different PS4 bundles currently available for pre-order, as well as a stand-alone PS4 console, while Microsoft has only offered a single option — the Xbox One Day One edition (which is still available at Amazon).
If the PS4 release date is in fact October 29, as the Amazon update implies, Sony could end up with a one-month lead time on retail sales compared to the Xbox One. This, combined with the PS4’s pre-order results so far, could make for a much different launch than the PS3, whose price caused some gamers to think twice before heading for their local retailer.
A late-October launch would also fly in the face of the “December 31” PS4 release date shown on almost all other PS4-related games and accessories, although that New-Years-Eve placeholder has never fooled anyone. If Sony or Microsoft were to miss the Black Friday shopping blitz, sales of their next-gen console would face a significant uphill battle. Obviously an Oct. 29 date would be music to many PS4 gamers’ ears, but so would the Nov. 5 date shown for Call of Duty: Ghosts. Considering Sony has told retailers to expect 10 times more PS4s than anticipated for pre-orders, the supply chain gods may in fact be smiling on an earlier PS4 release date than anticipated. Here’s hoping Microsoft follows suit with the Xbox One and extends the holiday gaming season for everyone, regardless of the console they choose to buy.