Pre-orders for the PS5 predictably sold out the moment they dropped, but retail sources told Eurogamer that the real surprise was that the cheaper and disc drive-less edition sold out much faster than expected.
The demand for both versions of the PS5 was high, but the digital edition’s lower stock has become a source of worry for retailers and consumers alike.
A major retailer in the U.K. told Eurogamer that its stock allocation amounted to having about 25 percent digital editions, though it’s likely to vary depending on the outlets. Other sources have claimed an even more skewed ratio of 20 to 80 percent in favor of the standard PS5.
It’s a similar situation across the pond. Ars Technica surveyed nine separate GameStop locations in the U.S., with findings similar to the report from Eurogamer. Across these stores, there was a mean ratio of 24 percent digital edition to 76 percent for the standard console.
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s president and CEO, Jim Ryan, previously said in an interview with AV Watch (as translated by VideoGamesChronicle) that the company was monitoring the demand for both versions of the PS5 and will adapt its production accordingly.
“We cannot give specific information on numbers, but we can say that we plan to produce the necessary number of units to meet the demand for that model type,” Ryan said.
Ryan remained mum on the ratio of the two versions, though, saying that the information was “currently something we cannot disclose at this time.”
Unlike the hardware differences between the Xbox Series X and S, the PS5’s digital edition is the full package, just without a Blu-ray disc drive for a $100 price point dock. It’s a clear option for consumers who have already committed to a fully digital game library.
Sony’s new console selling out almost immediately wasn’t unexpected, but Sony’s handling of the pre-order situation has been lambasted. Pre-orders became available on Sept. 16, in spite of Sony telling fans that they wouldn’t open until the day after. Consumers were caught off guard, which opened up the floodgates for some opportunistic scalpers to take advantage and resell for inflated prices.
The company has since apologized for the fiasco and promised that more consoles “will be available through the end of the year.”
Fans who were unable to secure the PS5 for themselves likely hope Sony will make good on its word to boost the number of units for the highly anticipated next-gen console.