Want to be the first in line to pre-order PlayStation 5? In a rare move for a console launch, Sony has led the way by announcing a direct selling program — one that bypasses typical retail channels — before announcing the price, release date or other details of the upcoming system.
Starting today, potential buyers can head to Sony’s official pre-order site to express their interest in purchasing a PS5. Users only need to enter one piece of information into the form: their PlayStation Network ID. And that’s it.
Before you order, answer 27 questions about Nathan Drake…
From there, Sony will determine exactly who deserves a chance to buy a PS5, and this will be based on “past interests and PlayStation activity”. What exactly that information is and how it will be weighted is currently unclear. Years of membership? Number of games owned? Whether the account in question pays for subscription services such as PlayStation Plus or PlayStation Now, or just uses a completely free PSN account? Sony has not yet clarified this point.
If you have been selected as part of Sony’s direct pre-order program, you will find out at some point (currently unknown) via an email sent to the address registered with your PSN account. (Hence, that would be a good day to double-check that address and other PSN profile information.) If you haven’t entered Sony’s pre-order program, you won’t receive the bad news in the form of an email or anything else notice. And while PSN IDs from all over the world are eligible for this program, orders will only work if shipped to US addresses. It’s unclear if Sony will roll out similar campaigns for other territories.
With that email, you’ll be told the exact time frame in which to order a PS5 console, which can be the standard version (with a disc drive) or the “digital version” (no disc drive). Sony has emphasized a limit of one PS5 console per PSN ID. Invited PSN users can also order PS5 peripherals directly from their console, including DualSense controllers, headsets, cameras, media remotes and controller charging stands. Buyers in Sony’s direct sales program are not forced into a peripheral bundle.
Sony’s language implies, but does not fully confirm, that this PSN-related program will be the very first in the world to offer pre-orders for the PS5 console. This means Sony can beat typical retailers like Gamestop, Amazon and Best Buy for the pre-order party. It’s another big blow to the usual retail product chain, which has already been disrupted by Sony, giving fans the option to use discs with the Digital Edition and buy all their games directly from PlayStation Network.
We’re still waiting to hear exactly how much the console will cost and when it will ship to customers and retailers, but other crucial details remain unanswered before a program like this rolls out. How much will all of the PS5’s peripherals cost, especially the brand new DualSense controller, which looks bulkier and adds more sensitive features (particularly the haptic feedback system) than any previous first-party PlayStation gamepad? What kind of built-in capacity should we expect for the PS5’s solid-state drive, and what requirements should we expect for add-on NVMe drives?
Which previously announced games will launch alongside the console? (So far we only know about) Spider-Man: Miles Morales as a first-party PS5 game for 2020, but whether it will accompany the console launch is still unknown. In comparison, Microsoft originally announced: Halo Infinite as a launch title for this year’s Xbox Series X, only to pull back.)
Most importantly, will fans know the price before this pre-order program goes live, or will interested buyers have only milliseconds to swallow the price tag before pre-ordering with a frenzied crowd of specially selected PSN users? Sony probably isn’t incentivized to let anyone think about the price tag given how high we expect it to be – and third-party game publishers are already bringing fans’ wallets in the form of higher next-gen game prices.