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Playstation 5 pre-order chaos as COVID-19 bolsters demand for gaming

November 18, 2020

Playstation 5 pre-order chaos as COVID-19 bolsters demand for gaming

Irate consumers have taken aim at major retailers after a flurry of pre-orders for Sony’s latest home gaming system, the Playstation 5, flooded online shopping portals and crashed websites. The next generation console was sold exclusively online, due to fears traditional in-store product launches would jeopardise the health of customers and sales staff working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Irate consumers have taken aim at major retailers after a flurry of pre-orders for Sony’s latest home gaming system, the Playstation 5, flooded online shopping portals and crashed websites. The next generation console was sold exclusively online, due to fears traditional in-store product launches would jeopardise the health of customers and sales staff working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

But enthusiastic customers were left disappointed after retailers both in Australia and the US struggled to keep pace with immense demand. JB Hi Fi’s social media pages were inundated with complaints after their website variously crashed or froze during the pre-order stage (leaving gamers empty handed). While Big W was hounded after failing to uphold a promise to provide customers with more pre-orders ahead of the November 12 release date.

“Spent 2 hours on it this morning [and] had it in the basket but could not go further. What a joke JB Hi-Fi,” one customer wrote on Facebook.

 

“BIG W I’ve been messaging you guys since Wednesday with absolutely no response. You advertised launch day consoles and demanded them to be paid in full before they would be delivered to us on the 12th. It’s now past the 12th,” wrote another.

 

The popularity of the Playstation 5 was released on 12 november, with a starting price of $599.95.

 

Year of the gamer

Video games enjoyed surging popularity throughout 2020 as locked down consumers looked for new outlets to keep them occupied and entertained without leaving the safety of their homes.

Data from marketing consultancy Simon-Kuchner and Partners found gamers spent 39 percent more each month on games in May and June this year than they did pre-COVID. This increase in spending was consistent across almost every age group.

What’s more, respondents indicated this was not temporary. Spend is expected to stay elevated at 21 percent compared to pre-pandemic rates, the report added.

The study also found that those playing games for less than five hours each week, prior to the pandemic began to play more regularly – with 82 percent of all gamers playing between 5 and 20 hours each week, up from 63 percent prior to COVID-19.

Data from app analytics firm App Annie shows mobile gaming saw a record-breaking increase in the number of weekly game downloads, which climbed 35 percent, up to 1.2 billion in March this year. – Making this type of gaming the “primary driver” of digital game consumption.

To be kept up to date with investment opportunities in the digital gaming industry register your interest here.

 

Sources:


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