The preorder process for the PlayStation 5 was the online equivalent of one of those Black Friday stampede videos, albeit without the risk of injury. Every single retailer that opened preorders sold out in minutes, and the first second batch of consoles that went on sale at Walmart didn’t last any longer.
And it’s not just the insane demand for Sony’s next-generation console, which will be released on November 12, that’s causing chaos. In its presentation introducing the console on Wednesday, Sony announced that customers could preorder the PS5 “as early as tomorrow,” but preorders went live the same day. Walmart even gleefully tweeted that it was opening preorders early, sowing confusion among Sony superfans.
Frantic gamers rushed to get their preorders in, but they quickly overwhelmed online stores. GameStop’s website got so many visitors its DDoS protection software was activated, blocking access to the PS5 ordering page for may. There have been other reports of consoles being removed from carts while people entered their payment information and of Walmart canceling successful preorders, a real gut-punch to people who thought they’d snagged one.
The online preorder process is so bad that preordering in person at GameStop might actually be easier than nabbing a PS5 online.
Now, it’s pretty much impossible to preorder a PS5 now. Walmart’s website says it will have more in stock on September 22, but we’re not exactly eager to trust that information. Amazon’s product page has a notice that’s accurately sums up the current state of the release of the PlayStation 5.
“We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.”