The arrival of the long awaited and desired PlayStation 5 is officially upon us – that is if you were one of the lucky few who managed to get their hands on one!
The brand new PlayStation 5 was set to be the biggest technology release of 2020 and vouched to introduce ‘a new era of gaming’ with a world of new digital features. After a gap of seven years since the PS4 came around, Sony, the technology giants threw everything at the launch of the new successor which included multiple large scale marketing strategies. The most notable of which was replacing all London Underground signage with recognisable PlayStation branding, including the boisterous decision to showcase this on Oxford Circus – right outside the flagship store of major rivals, Microsoft.
With the whole gaming world anxiously awaiting the launch, what could possibly go wrong? Well, what about a worldwide supply shortage resulting in a frenzy of outraged customers??
All of the leading online retailers such as Argos, Curry’s and John Lewis found themselves in the predicament of being sold out of the unusually large games console before lunch time had even struck. Upon realisation of just how in demand the PS5 was, Curry’s were quick to implement a virtual queuing system which grew strenuously to more than 150,000 people. When the flood gates opened this soon descended into chaos and acrimony when those who managed to brave their way through the queues learned their unfortunate fate that they were to be without the console due to insufficient stock. *Now I know I might fall on the dramatic side but to the outraged customers, this is what their ordeal felt like, (trust me…I have four older brothers)*
To add to the frustration of customers, the high online traffic volumes caused many websites to crash entirely meaning that no purchases could occur at all. John Lewis was among one of the brands who attempted to combat this with an automatic apology to customers, reminding them of the “much-anticipated launch of the new Sony PlayStation.”
As if it was not bad enough that Sony clearly misjudged the supply and demand ratio for those ordering on launch day, even some of those who were savvy enough and PRE-ORDERED the console as early as September were left unhappy as they battled with delivery issues. This sparked rows over who was to blame with gaming retailer, Game issuing an email to customers blaming the courier service for the delivery delays.
To defend themselves, the trusted delivery service Yodel issued a statement outlining their role, “Yodel does not work directly with Game…we have been consistently clear on the order volumes we are able to carry for them and it is deeply disappointing that Yodel’s name has been incorrectly used in an email to customers on the status of orders.” The jury is still out on who’s at fault there…
Things went from bad to worse when some of the fortunate few who managed to bag themselves one of the highly sought after PS5 realised the position of power they were in. Before long, the consoles could be found creeping their way onto second-hand sale sites such at HUGELY inflated prices. For the disc edition that’s RRP is £449.99, bids could be found as high as £1400,00. That’s a 211% INFLATION!!
Throughout the entire ordeal, the absence of an update from Sony left gamers feeling very in the dark. Although asked for a statement, the technology gurus refused to comment. Odd. Only just now, has Sony Executive, Jim Ryan left us with a short and sweet answer that left very much still to be desired, “Everything is sold. Absolutely everything is sold.” This doesn’t make things look too hopeful for those who missed out.
To conclude, I wish you luck if you choose to endeavour in the hunt for the lucrative PS5 but please, please, do not be one of those people who will fall for the crazy Ebay prices…
Eimear Delargy is a final year BSc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter