Whether you're a part of the PlayStation Nation or a member of Team Xbox, pre-ordering a next-gen console has not been easy. Sony was slaughtered last week when PS5 pre-orders were unleashed without any real notice. The situation was such a mess that the Japanese giant actually had to come out and apologise for it.
Meanwhile, Microsoft took this opportunity to have a dig at Sony on social media, reiterating that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S pre-orders would go live on a set date at a set time. That date and time was earlier today (the 22nd September at the time of writing), but as we've come to expect of 2020, things did not go as planned.
Initial Xbox pre-orders were, by most accounts, relatively smooth, but the situation deteriorated drastically as the day went on. UK retailer GAME was taken offline, and in the US, numerous retailers ran out of stock almost instantly — no doubt a result of people knowing exactly when pre-orders would go live. What's more, many of these same outlets were hit with various technical issues, preventing people from even adding a shiny new Xbox to their online basket.
But the blackeye for Microsoft happened to come from its own channels. The official Microsoft Store was brought to its knees right off the bat as its website buckled under the stress. When it returned, it provided people with broken pre-order links, inciting panic among eager would-be buyers. The actual pre-orders ended up going live much later in the day — and it was the same story with Amazon US.
And so between Sony and Microsoft, we've had two different ways of doing things. Sony's was an undeniably cheap shot, but the sudden opening of pre-orders meant that there wasn't just one gigantic push across all participating retailers — it all happened in waves. Microsoft, meanwhile, had the courtesy to tell people exactly when pre-orders would go live — but this has led to a load of technical and instant out of stock issues.
What a nightmare, eh?