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Fans Are Sorely Disappointed Over PS5 Pre-Order News

The launch of the next console generation is mere months away. While we still don't have an official release date for the PlayStation 5, we may be able to confirm some of the rumors we've been hearing for quite a while. Specifically, it seems there could be some interesting limits placed on pre-orders for the PS5. Ironic, considering the fact that the official PlayStation website is promoting the PS5 with the slogan "Play Has No Limits."

This latest tidbit was discovered through data mining by Reddit user Kgarvey. While digging through the source code for PlayStation Direct, this Redditor found an interesting error message that may occur when PlayStation 5 pre-orders go live. The error message reads, "You can only purchase one version of the PS5™ Console: Disc or Digital. You have already added one PS5™ console to your cart."

This may seem like an innocuous message, but it could tell us something about Sony's release strategy for the PlayStation 5; mainly, each customer might only be allowed to pre-order one PlayStation 5 from PlayStation Direct.

One thing to remember is this is not exactly a new tactic for the company. As pointed out by Kgarvey, the PlayStation 4 was also limited to one per household when it originally went up for pre-order all those years ago. However, there is one major difference in this situation: Sony is releasing two different versions of the PlayStation 5 this holiday season in the standard PS5 and the Digital Edition.

The wording of the error message would seem to indicate that PlayStation Direct will not discriminate between the two versions of the console when it comes to pre-orders. Despite the fact that these will likely sell at two different price points and have different retail SKU numbers, it appears that the single console purchase limit is still in place. In other words, you can buy one or the other, but not both. It's unclear if a customer could skirt around this limitation by pre-ordering from different retailers.

This seems to line up with a previous rumor about the PlayStation 5 — the one that suggested the console might be somewhat limited at launch. According to reports earlier this year, Sony is only planning on manufacturing an initial product run of five to six million PlayStation 5 units within its first year on the market. This stands in stark contrast to the number of PS4s that were initially manufactured, considering the PS4 moved 7.5 million units within its first two quarters of release. Due to the sheer cost of manufacturing each PlayStation 5 unit, it seems that Sony will attempt to mitigate its losses by making fewer PS5 consoles in this first batch, hence the pre-order limitations.

The limit on pre-orders doesn't seem to be sitting particularly well with fans. One Reddit user said that they had hoped to purchase multiple PS5 consoles, but they're now wondering if that will even be possible without essentially squatting on every website selling one. Others are calling this line of thinking "selfish."

One Redditor remarked that the pre-order limit feels like a case of "artificial scarcity." In other words, this person suggests that Sony is capable of putting out plenty more units, but wants people to jump on purchasing a PS5 out of fear that they'll miss out.

Kgarvey also speculates that Sony could have another plan up its sleeve to limit pre-orders: by having all pre-orders go exclusively through PlayStation Direct for the time being. This would ensure that Sony receives more of the profits, but it's really not that likely of a scenario. After all, Sony wouldn't want to damage its relationship with retailers like GameStop or Amazon. 

However, as with all things related to the next gen consoles, we'll just have to wait and see. The presence of this error message in the PlayStation Direct source code has pretty much convinced Kgarvey that pre-orders will be available any time now. 

It seems that everyone is making moves to ensure the success of their new consoles. Just last week, it was reported that Microsoft had discontinued the Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Editions to make way for the Xbox Series X. We still don't have price points for either the Series X or the PS5, but it does seem like our options are getting narrower as the next gen launch approaches.

It may make some fans feel more at ease to know that Sony doesn't intend to surprise fans with pre-orders. As PlayStation's worldwide head of marketing, Eric Lempel, said in a recent interview, "we'll let you know when pre-orders will happen. It's not going to happen with a minute's notice."