Community Review: PS5, Xbox Series X

With preorder confirmations finally going out, people are starting to learn whether they’ll be switching between multiple games at once, or waiting a little bit longer.

So, for today’s Community Review — and because I’m finally back from break! — I want to know what your experience with the PS5 and Xbox Series X preorder madness was like.

The messaging around preorders was all over the shop for Sony, but in Australia at least people seemed to be able to get their preorders in as soon as possible. That still didn’t help the fact that demand is still massively outstripping supply, not just because it’s a new console generation but the added interest in gaming because of COVID-19.

Unsurprisingly, the Xbox Series X was hard to come by as well. Buyers in Australia at least had a few more options thanks to the Xbox All Access program, which was slightly cheaper than buying an Xbox Series X or S outright. Given that most people tend to keep their consoles for a full generation, unless it stops working or they upgrade and pass the console onto someone else, the Telstra offer was a good deal.

Unless you weren’t a Telstra customer, in which case you couldn’t get it.

Microsoft were more forward on their messaging, taking a leaf from Sony’s book. But there doesn’t seem to have been as many consoles in Australia as the PS5, so naturally stock dried up real fast. EB Games blew through their first wave stock in 14 minutes, and JB had to similarly suspend preorders.

Microsoft has started emailing users internationally about more Xbox Series X and S stock through the Microsoft site, although that’s not expected to be available until later this month (and only for Xbox All Access users). How that works out locally isn’t known yet, but it is at least nice to see the companies do something to try and get more people in the first or second wave.

On the retailer side, things haven’t been perfect either. Some stores took preorders only to cancel them after sending confirmations, which is a supremely shitty move. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why retailers might have to do this, but it’s still garbage for consumers, because they don’t have the option of going back in time and spending their money elsewhere with a retailer that will honour the preorder. It’s even worse in Target’s instance, because they took payment in full. Harvey Norman looks like they’ve done this as well, with one Kotaku Australia reader not getting a refund even after their order was cancelled.

Crappy move, Gerry.

So for everyone who tried to get in on the first wave, how’d you do? Has your preorder confirmation held strong? Are you getting the console before Christmas at least, or did you opt to wait until 2021 when more next-gen optimised games are released? Let us know in the comments!


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