The time finally came, and both the Xbox Series X and PS5 have hit shelves. Now pending a release of the PS5 in Europe and other regions on November 19, Sony’s console will finally be available for gamers to purchase worldwide.
Now I say “available” in the loosest sense of the word, as both machines are currently sold out at online retailers such as Amazon (and good luck about trying to grab one from your local electronics shop too…).
Because it’s clear that demand for the Xbox Series X and PS5 has been unprecedented, all while the world is still suffering the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Actually, Microsoft recently stated that the Xbox Series X’s (and its sibling the Xbox Series S’s) launch had been the best ever for the Xbox brand, with combined sales for both machines in the first 24 hours being so great this was “the largest launch in Xbox history”. So said Xbox head Phil Spencer in a recent tweet (via VG247).
Thank you for supporting the largest launch in Xbox history. In 24 hrs more new consoles sold, in more countries, than ever before. We’re working with retail to resupply as quickly as possible. You continue to show us the connective power of play is more important than ever.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 12, 2020
Meanwhile, the PS5 is also flying off the shelves (both digital and physical), with the machine shifting more than four times more units than the Xbox Series X in Japan.
Of course, massive demand for both consoles has led unscrupulous resellers to snatch batches of PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles and sell them at colossally marked up prices online, as was recently covered on Forbes.
And PS5s have been spotted on eBay with sale prices as high as $1,999 US dollars, while others are offering the Xbox Series X for a whopping $1,000 US dollars, or twice its MSRP (which is short for Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). Heck, even the Xbox Series S is going for more than the Xbox Series X on eBay right now…
Of course, only those with more money than common sense would pay such prices for Microsoft’s or Sony’s console, even if their anxiety to get hold of one of these new consoles was so great.
You see, right now there are supply issues with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, as demand is much greater than available stock, something which can push resale prices to exorbitant levels. Things are expected to normalize in a couple of months’ time, when gamers should be able to get hold of either console at their MSRP.
Besides this, there are other reasons to hold off on buying an Xbox Series X and PS5.
This is because early adopters of the console have been experiencing crashes when playing games on both machines, especially the PS5 it appears.
A Forbes contributor reported on crashes occurring when playing PS5 exclusive Godfall and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, something which would make the experience of gaming on Sony’s hyped new console less attractive than it should be. Other outlets such as Kotaku have highlighted the fact the the PS5 is unable to run games like Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War for them, with the console crashing severely and triggering a “repair” screen.
Apparently the first screen was so confusing that even my PS5 couldn’t handle it. Shut down twice, rebuilding the storage each time. Just going to wipe the whole game from my drive for now. pic.twitter.com/I0pJSlgOlw
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) November 16, 2020
Also, those gaming on the Xbox Series X have reported crashes so bad that their console shut down, not a nice experience after having forked out $500 US dollars on a new gaming machine.
All this suggests that postponing a purchase would be a good idea until the issues have been sorted out, something which might take months. Sony and Microsoft still have to iron out wrinkles with their machines at the software level, and being used as a guinea pig in the early stages of a new console release is definitely not fun.
It might even be a good idea to wait for a mid-generation refresh of either console too. Sony is expected to introduce a PS5 Slim (and likely a PS5 Pro too) a couple of years down the line. And hopefully this will be quite a bit smaller and compact than the vanilla PS5 while also offering a bit more storage space too. And Microsoft’s might do the same with the Xbox Series X. Both companies are expected to cut the prices of their consoles at some point in the future, that’s for sure.
Those who can’t wait that long, though, here’s hoping that PS5 and Xbox Series X stock is more plentiful soon, and that both consoles can be bought both online and from brick and mortar stores more easily in a couple of weeks’ time.
Read more: Should you buy a PS5 this year?
Xbox Series X (Microsoft)
PS5 console (Sony)