A report by Eurogamer suggests that the reason you may have had a tough time securing a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition pre-order is that retailers are being promised significantly less stock of that model.
The report cites information acquired by a “major UK retailer” which informed the publication that the PS5 stock they were allocated consisted of about 25% Digital Editions vs. 75% standard editions. Other sources noted that their stock ration was actually closer to 20% vs. 80%. While it’s noted that the exact figures can vary from location to location and retailer to retailer, the message seems clear that Sony is currently planning to ship significantly fewer PS5 Digital Editions.
That information is supported by a separate report by Ars Technica which is based on information acquired from various GameStop locations. According to that information, the average GameStop location’s PS5 stock will currently consist of about 25% Digital Editions. The report notes that the exact percentage of anticipated PS5 stock varies from about 13% to 33%, but again, we walk away with the impression that these retailers are receiving fewer PS5 Digital Editions.
Before we dive further, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that this is a relatively small sample size that still features quite a bit of variation in terms of the reported numbers. The second (and perhaps most interesting) note is that these numbers seem to be based largely on the stock of physical retailers. It’s possible that Sony assumes that customers of physical stores are more likely to buy a PS5 that can play physical discs.
Still, these figures and word of mouth we’ve heard from potential PS5 customers all seem to suggest that Sony intends to ship more standard PS5s than PS5 Digital Editions in time for the console’s November 12 launch. We’ve heard reports that Sony is generally struggling to keep up with the PS5’s production (which Sony partially denied) and Sony themselves have already apologized for the PS5 pre-order problems and promise to try to manufacture as many units as possible between now and launch. However, there’s still no word on what the company’s official production ratio is.
In a scenario where PS5s are harder to manufacture and ship than Sony anticipated, we suppose you could argue that they are trying to meet the expected demand of customers by producing more standard PS5s. Sony previously stated something similar when they spoke of trying to anticipate demand. Yet, at a time when the $299 Xbox Series S is generating a lot of noise, you’ve got to wonder if Sony has perhaps underestimated the number of PS5 Digital Editions that would be sold if they were available this holiday season.