PS5 launch day crashes websites amid surge of orders

The new Spider Man game is one of the big exclusives on the PS5

Credit: Sony

The launch of the highly-anticipated PlayStation 5 descended into chaos on Thursday after major retail websites crashed amid high demand. 

The websites of John Lewis, Currys, Game and Tesco all went offline, leaving tens of thousands of eager shoppers frustrated.

"No signal. We’re currently experiencing a problem. It’s the much-anticipated launch of the new Sony Playstation 5 console so we’re busier than usual," read a error message on the John Lewis website.

Meanwhile, Currys was forced to place consumers in a 180,000-person virtual queue to stagger orders. The retailer later tweeted that its sales were "on hold". Its website was able to load, but consumers could not access PS5 products.

🚨Important Announcement🚨

Our 9am go live for the PS5 is unfortunately on hold. We’re really sorry as we know a lot of you are really excited to get your hands on the PS5, we are hoping that it will go live later today.

Keep your eyes peeled on our page for more updates 👀

— Currys PC World (@curryspcworld) November 19, 2020

Tesco’s ordering website for PS5’s was removed from Google search, while Game’s PS5 page also failed to load. The console sales largely went online at 9am and sites were swamped within minutes. Consoles are also currently unavailable on Amazon.

Consumers are now waiting for a chance to place their orders on Amazon and Very.co.uk at midday.

With retail stores closed across the UK, online stores have been braced for huge demand on their servers as thousands of gamers try to get their hands on the device ahead of Christmas. 

PS5 £449, or £359 for a console that only plays downloaded or digital games. It rivals Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, which launched last week and costs £449.

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X has been on sale since last week, however it remains out of stock online across UK retailers as they wait for new supplies.

It comes ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping days of the year, with games consoles now expected to be in short supply.

Sony is banking on its new console to win over consumers with a range of exclusive games. It comes with a DualSense controller with advanced haptic feedback that can add vibrations and other tactile functions. 

Not boding well for the 1000s trying to get hold of a rare @PlayStationUK 5 console this [email protected] has already removed its dedicated PS ordering website. “Bad gateway” is now the message. And @jlandpartners PS page has frozen

— Harry Wallop (@hwallop) November 19, 2020

Disappointed gamers vented their frustration or posted jokes about their predicament. One said: "Curry’s and GAME claim to have PS5 in stock. Official sources stated that is false and misleading."

Another said: ""Up and in the PS5 queue at Game from 7:30am, get logged in and wait patiently for 45 minutes, only for the website to crash the minute it hits 9am."

Others were left empty handed after pre-order deliveries failed to show up. Game streamer Martyn Littlewood said: "I’m guessing I won’t get my PS5 today seeing as I’ve had no text from Yodel yet. Not surprised or angry. Just disappointed."

The Japanese company will be hoping to draw in players with games such as Spider Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls, triple A games that require computing horsepower to play on the bulky Playstation.

These games are now expected to cost as much as £70 each, a steep increase on previous games on older PS4 consoles. Sony has denied reports that games from its first party studios could ultimately cost even more.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Sony Interactive Entertainment chief executive Jim Ryan said: “We like making big blockbuster games; that’s what we do at PlayStation. We have huge budgets to make these wonderful PlayStation games. And in order for us to be able to do that, we have to give them a kind of box office launch.” 

  • Read Dan Silver’s review of the PS5 here: Sony’s enormous new PlayStation goes big on next gen gaming experiences

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