Sony says preorders for the PlayStation 4 exceed those of any previous PlayStation console.
European retailers warned earlier this month that PlayStation 4 preorders placed after August 6 couldn't be guaranteed for launch day. U.K.-based Shopto said Sony had put the word out to all European retailers that inventory couldn't be guaranteed, and that late preorders would be reliant on cancellations for launch day fulfillment and would otherwise have to wait.
The reason, according to Sony U.K. Managing Director Fergal Gara, is simply that preorders are way beyond anything Sony has seen before. "The problem with pre-orders, which is a good problem to have, is that they're very, very high. Higher than we've ever seen in 20 years in this business," he told Official PlayStation Magazine. "As an ex-retailer myself I understand this at least as well as anyone else: We need to help retailers manage the expectations of their customers and not let them down."
Thus, Sony's recommendation to retailers that preorders made after August 5 not be guaranteed for launch day. "We are going to be looking at a sell-out situation and chasing demand, it's a problem, it's kind of a good problem to have, but it is a problem and we're trying to manage that as responsibly as we possibly can," Gara said.
Final allocation numbers haven't yet been locked down, so there's still a chance that Sony will be able to fill some, or perhaps even all, preorders made after the cutoff. Cynics might suggest that there's also a chance Sony may be overstating the shortage just a wee little bit to drive the numbers up. Not that I'm a cynical sort myself, of course, but you never know.
Source: Official PlayStation Magazine