Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) CEO Jack Tretton has indicated Sony won’t likely be able to fulfill demand upon the PS4 launch date, meaning that if you haven’t pre-ordered your PlayStation 4 yet, you may want to get your PS4 launch bundle at Amazon ASAP. Sony is working through its supply chain to determine whether manufacturing and logistics can keep up with the pre-order pace. If it can’t, gamers who wait to reserve their console run the risk of not receiving their PS4 until December, if at all this holiday season.
In an interview with Forbes, SCEA’s Tretton said “I certainly think … given the price point we have, that we’ll have consumers interested in excess of what we’re able to manufacture” (emphasis added). The interview with Tretton was conducted the morning after Sony’s E3 press conference, which was a full day before the pre-order momentum began to swing so dramatically in Sony’s favor and pre-order volumes really took off.
Just one day into E3, pre-orders for stand-alone PS4 consoles were sold out at Amazon. Sony then created four launch-day PS4 bundles (the Battlefield 4 bundle and Watch Dogs bundle being the most popular) that were believed to be the only way to guarantee a PlayStation 4 on launch date. But how long will that guarantee last?
Following Microsoft’s complete reversal on the Xbox One DRM and used-game policies, the pace of Xbox One pre-orders — especially for games — has taken some of the wind out of Sony’s pre-order sails. However, PS4 consoles and products still account for the lion’s share of the total pre-order volume, forcing Tretton and Co. to determine when “enough is enough” and they’ll officially be unable to fill the PS4 launch date demand. Based on Tretton’s comment, that cut-off date may be sooner than many gamers realize.
If and when the PS4 sells out (and/or the Xbox One sells out), retailers will be laughing all the way to the bank. Already, the sheer amount of pre-order activity has resulted in the Amazon Video Game store realizing its biggest one-week sales volume ever. GameStop, meanwhile, has reportedly been instructed to take an unlimited number of PS4 pre-orders, although those instructions do not appear to have come with reassurance that the PS4 launch-date demand will be met. For instance, Amazon is still offering stand-alone PS4 console pre-orders, but they’re not guaranteed to ship on the system’s launch day. So, as with the GameStop instructions, gamers can reserve their unit at any time, but unless it’s specifically labeled as one of the launch-day bundles, it’s not going to ship at launch.
With Tretton’s comment that Sony won’t likely be able to fulfill demand upon the PS4 launch date, another official statement is likely to come soon about just how much past the PS4 launch date gamers will have to wait for their console if they haven’t ordered it already. Microsoft still has Xbox One Day One Edition consoles available, but with the recent turnaround in that system’s pace of pre-orders, the Xbox One demand is likely to outstrip supply soon as well. In other words, buckle up, because it’s going to be a wild holiday season if you’re trying to track down a launch-day unit of either console.