PS5 launch chaos sees online stores sell out in minutes

sonyMajor online retailers have buckled under the strain of consumers trying to get their grubby hands on the much-anticipated Sony PlayStation 5, with the new console proving harder to find than a virgin on ITV’s Love Island.

Whether this is a deliberate strategy to limit numbers and therefore increase desire is not known but even yesterday – the day before the official launch – John Lewis, Game, Currys PC World and Tesco’s websites all crashed. And, today, nearly every retailer has run out, including Amazon,, Studio, Argos, Game, Currys PC World and Smyths Toys.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sony Interactive Entertainment decided to make all release day purchases online-only, as the firm explained: “No units will be available in-store for purchase on launch day… please don’t plan on camping out or lining up at your local retailer on launch day in hopes of finding a PS5 console for purchase. Be safe, stay home, and place your order online.”

And, as if to rub salt into the wounds of those who cannot get hold of the new console, the game giant is launching an advertising “takeover” of the Bakerloo, Victoria, and Central line platforms on London Underground, which sees the Tube’s signature red loop motif augmented by PlayStation’s green triangle, pink square and blue cross.

Stations have been renamed after high profile titles, including ’Gran Turismo 7 Sisters’, ’Horizon Forbidden West Ham’ and ’Ratchet and Clankaster Gate’.

The pre-launch campaign kicked off back in October, through Adam & Eve DDB, under the new strapline Play Has No Limits and paid homage to explorers of the past.

Using a combination of archive footage and live action re-enactments, the ad features a young women battling through various “levels” – an icy landscape, a rainforest encampment and finally a dark cave – and is aimed at inspiring players to seek out new gaming experiences.

At the time, Sony Interactive Entertainment vice-president of global marketing Mary Yee said: “Play Has No Limits {is] an expression of the PlayStation brand and our spirit. It’s our recommitment to gamers worldwide that we will continue to fight against limits and reset the expectations of what’s possible.

“Our first global spot for PlayStation 5 under this tagline showcases the sensory experiences that immerse you deeper into the game, enabled by the DualSense wireless controller, and highlight the player experience available on PlayStation 5.”

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