Here's why you won't be getting a hot new console at Xmas
Excitement is building in the gaming community ahead of the release of new Xbox and PlayStation consoles next month, but if you didn't manage to secure one via pre-order when they were briefly available then you'll have to curb your enthusiasm.
A number of major retailers have confirmed to news.com.au they don't have any stock left to sell on the day, and Microsoft and Sony have not revealed when there will be more.
Ordinarily a new console release would be a big event with midnight launch events and fans packing into gaming retailers to compete with one another to get their hands on the new item.
But for numerous reasons that's not going to happen this year.
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COVID-19 is a major factor with social distancing guidelines and retail restrictions preventing large numbers of shoppers from packing into stores.
But it's also looking unlikely that stores will have console units to sell.
Major retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and EB Games have all completely "pre-sold" out.
"All stock for both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 has been pre-sold through our pre-order campaign," JB Hi-Fi marketing director Gary Siewert told news.com.au.
"Unless further stock becomes available for the Australian market we won't have any console stock for walk in sales, only pick-ups of pre-orders," he added.
"We are incredibly excited to launch the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X this November, with both being fully pre-sold out," EB Games digital marketing and community manager Kesh Gohil said.
Customers who pre-ordered from EB Games have up to three weeks to collect the console from stores "depending on their EB World level".
A Harvey Norman representative told news.com.au its pre-order consoles sold out within minutes and unless more stock becomes available there will be none available to purchase in stores at launch.
Earlier this year some industry watchers suggested the coronavirus pandemic was going to make it hard for Sony and Microsoft to get the consoles manufactured and in stores in time for Christmas, but both companies defied those expectations when announcing they'd be launching their new consoles in November.
Neither company will confirm how many consoles they've been able to produce, and how many of those are going to make it to Australia.
"For the most up-to-date information on PS5 availability and shipping details, customers will need to speak to their local retailers," a Sony spokesperson told news.com.au.
A Microsoft rep said "we'll have more to share soon" but didn't respond to questions about being able to buy a console on the day.
Gamers weren't given much notice ahead of pre-orders last month, and many of them were disappointed to find even if they were ready to buy they missed out.
Some took to Twitter to complain when the sold out consoles from the pre-order process were quickly on offer at inflated sums on online auction sites.
@Xbox disappointed, was on the button the second the pre orders went live. Had it in the cart but it wouldn't process, no dice no pre order. Yet you have people on ebay selling 3 pre orders, of my 5 friends only 2 got a pre order..— Andrew Neubeck (@andrew_neubeck) September 22, 2020
Originally published as Shortages of PS5, Xbox on launch day