PlayStation 5 pre-orders are open, but the situation is a bit of a disaster. When Sony announced pricing details for its next-generation game console on Wednesday—confirming that the standard PS5 would cost $499, while a Digital Edition without a disc drive would cost $399—it officially stated that preorders would begin on Thursday, September 17. The company did not specify when or where these orders would be available, however, merely saying that eager customers could pick the device up at “select retailers.”
The period since has been chaos. Major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy instead made the console available a few hours after Sony’s game showcase on Wednesday. This naturally led to a rush of gamers flooding these storefronts in order to secure their own machine in time for its November 12 release date, which in turn resulted in broken links, site crashes, and extremely quick stock shortages. GameStop saw enough traffic for its site to trigger some sort of DDoS protection, while Best Buy’s online store was intermittently inaccessible Thursday morning.
Anecdotally, a couple of Ars writers were able to secure orders from Walmart shortly after the retailer set preorders live, but only after several cart refreshes, and only because they acted within the 30 minutes or so that the device was actually available. Amazon, meanwhile, set their preorders live late Wednesday around midnight ET, only for consoles to sell out within a similarly brief timeframe.