no console on the shelves, a few copies for sale online

Funny launch for the PlayStation 5. If the next-generation console from Sony officially comes out Thursday, November 19, that does not mean that it is available: the console, sold for 500 euros in its classic version (400 euros for its “Digital edition”, without disk drive), could not be found on the shelves.

This is not an error, nor even a French peculiarity linked to the ban on the sale of “non-essential products”, but a Sony instruction to specialized brands and hypermarkets: the PS5, for the moment, will only be available. ‘in click and collect. And, at least on the day of its release, only for players who have pre-ordered it. Micromania and Fnac thus confirm the World that there is no point in looking for a console in the store, unless you have pre-ordered it.

Read also We tested … the PlayStation 5, the new console that will blow your mind

Rush to distributor sites

Impossible to know which volumes have passed, Sony not communicating on this subject. What is certain is that, as of September 18, the day after the opening of the dazzlingly successful pre-orders, the console was virtually unavailable for sale.

Even among the players who pre-ordered the console on time, some had the bad surprise this morning to discover that they will not be delivered on D-Day: in an email sent to these unhappy customers, Fnac explains that they had to “Shift” the delivery of some of them, apologizes and proposes, in compensation, the sending of a voucher of 50 euros. Contacted about this, the company could not immediately give us an explanation.

According to Sony, contacted by The world, distributors will receive restocking as they are produced, in the days and weeks to come: it is their responsibility to put them on sale according to their own schedule. Fnac mentioned the month of December, specifying that the quantities put on sale will be lower than those available for pre-orders.

Thursday morning, some PlayStation 5 were yet available for sale on the sites of major brands, such as Auchan or even Fnac. Information that quickly circulated on social networks, causing a rush on the sites of the various distributors, causing breakdowns or at least slowdowns on many of them.

Between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., The world was thus able to observe the establishment of virtual queues instead of the home pages of Carrefour sites, Fnac (which offers visitors to play Tetris to wait) and Boulanger. At 11 am, we were still stuck on the home page of the latter’s site. At the same time, Fnac announced that the sale of these additional machines was now over.

A classic shortage at the exit of a console

The Leclerc sites were, for their part, accessible but unstable. On the other hand, on the Auchan Home & Leisure equipment site, the Video games section was, at this time, quite simply inaccessible. The Amazon and Cdiscount sites are still functional, but do not allow you to buy the PS5, nor does its competitor, the Xbox Series X, released on November 10 and also out of stock in all brands. The Xbox Series S (the cheaper version but without a disk drive) is still available there.

Also read our test: should we (try to) buy the Xbox Series X, the new console from Microsoft, as soon as it is released?

Far from being an anomaly, and even if this phenomenon is reinforced in this generation because of the health context, the shortage is, in reality, almost systematic in the weeks following the launch of a new console. To the point that some players consider that they are organized by the manufacturers, so as to artificially create scarcity, and therefore, demand.

Manufacturers, for their part, put forward technical reasons, and the need to smooth the quantity of consoles produced over the entire life of the console, rather than producing too much at launch, at the risk of having to store the surpluses and then being forced to run their factories at idle speed.

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