It seems pre-ordering is a tough thing to get right. Last week, PlayStation 5 pre-orders went live without much warning and the result was a bit of a disaster. Not only did it seem that demand far-outweighed supply, but the general lack of communication just made things worse. It was so bad that Sony actually felt the need to issue an apology (You can read all about it here).
Xbox on the other hand seemed to be planning everything perfectly. Although their price announcement was leaked a little early (and before Sony’s) their pre-order only went live yesterday. And before that everything was communicated so clearly. Night and day – at least that’s the way it seemed. While local orders seemed to go off relatively well here in SA – although once again many places were out of stock a little too quickly – it seems the US had a really different experience. As spotted on IGN, several major online retailers, as well as Microsoft’s own site, crashed (in one form or another) yesterday, leaving many without the preorder they very much desired.
While this is of course not ideal for Microsoft, I can’t help but notice a rather significant silver lining. If Amazon, as well as Micrsoft’s own site experienced issues – that tells me their were seeing a heck of a lot traffic. Clearly, an unexpected amount of traffic. Now, that’s not really an excuse – you’d think theses sort of things would sorted out by now – especially after the PS5 issues. But, on the flip side – Clearly Microsoft is making a dent. And I expect we’ll see a much closer race to the top (at least at the start) of this new console generation.