Sony has invited PlayStation owners to register for a chance to be the first consumers to pre-order the PlayStation 5 ahead of its launch this holiday. The email invitation, which was only sent to those with active PSN Online IDs, suggests that Sony is preparing to finally announce a release date for the PS5 as well as the price of the standard and digital edition of the console.
A new report from VGC, which spoke to “retail and development sources,” suggests the long-awaited release date will fall sometime in November. According to these sources, Sony has “booked a significant marketing spend” for the console that will begin on Nov. 13. They expect that the PS5 itself will launch around mid-November period, too.
Microsoft is aiming to beat Sony to market with the Xbox Series X, which VGC’s sources say will launch before the PS5. VGC itself has heard that Microsoft has told developers to expect the Xbox Series X to launch during the first week of November.
If both companies do launch their next-gen consoles in November, they’ll face some unprecedented obstacles when it comes to shipping and distribution. As Bloomberg previously reported, Sony recently ramped up the production of the PS5 in an effort to meet the expected demand for the console. But continued shipping restrictions and delays caused the Covid-19 pandemic could mean that there will be a limited number of units on store shelves this holiday. This could explain why Sony has so far only opened up pre-order registration to a smaller group of people.
Sony began mass production of the PS5 in June, the same month the console was fully unveiled during a digital event. Bloomberg said that Sony will likely have to use ocean lines to ship the majority of machines from China, where “a large proportion of Sony’s consoles” are produced. It takes months to ship cargo from China to the U.S. and Europe by sea and the outlet suggested that Sony may face a similar problem Nintendo had earlier this year when it struggled to replenish Switch stocks in the opening months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gamer Network’s head of games B2B Christopher Dring told VGC that these shipping and distribution challenges are why neither company has been able to announce an official release date for their consoles: “Companies are waiting until they can be as sure as they can about what they can deliver to consumers. It’s a complicated time, and you would typically place a strong bet on PS5 arriving somewhere in the middle of November. But things can change very quickly.”
It’s probably wise to not mark your calendars just yet, but keep an eye on November, as it may be when these two video game titans will finally go head-to-head for all the next-gen marbles.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.