Sony is taking an interesting approach to the PS4 launch. It may not make much sense initially, but I actually think that this decision is one beneficial to both the consumers and the companies. What decision am I talking about? Well, long story short, some PS4 games and accessories are going on sale before the console releases. When I heard the news, I initially thought, “Why release your games before you can even play them on a system because the system isn’t out yet?” Turns out, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
According to a Forbes.com article, Battlefield 4 and Killzone: Shadowfall will launch for the PS4 on November 12th, a full 3 days before the US release of the console. Call of Duty: Ghosts is releasing on November 5th for the PS4, a mere 6 days from now! In fact, I called my local Gamestop to confirm that this was true, and the sales associate told me that the Dualshock 4 controllers are on shelves RIGHT NOW. I was a bit appalled and amazed. This is a $60 peripheral that is utterly useless for another two and a half weeks; why release it now? Simply put: Demand.
Think back to this video of a Gamestop employee that had a bit of a feud with a customer at the Grand Theft Auto V midnight release. At about 0:35 in the video, you can see that there are probably about a dozen people waiting in line for their game; at other locations, I’m sure there were even larger lines. When a friend of mine picked up Modern Warfare 3 at a college town Gamestop a couple years ago, he said the line wound far out of the store (and this is a rather large GS location) and into the parking lot.
Imagine how much worse the lines might be at PS4 release day, which will feature a midnight release. When the PS3 came out, there were reports of riots, fighting, and other issues that went along with the launch because there was such a demand for the system. When there are dozens of people in line waiting for their console, games, and accessories, moving the line along is top priority. The problem is, the line can only move so fast when there are several items to ring up per customer.
Assume I go (and I’m not actually going this extravagant at launch) to pick up my PS4 on launch day, but I also buy a PS+ subscription card, grab another controller, and a couple games. On top of that, I need to trade a few games in for some store credit, so that will take a while as well. You can probably see how I would hold up a line at Gamestop on launch day. It wouldn’t be just me doing this, everyone would.
By releasing the highly sought after games and controller in advance, it’s probably Sony’s hope that consumers will buy them in advance, thus making system launch day smoother. Rather than having a dozen people buying the console and a ton of accessories, launch day will be as simple as scanning the system, paying, and leaving.
The games and controller may be useless right now, but it’s a very smart move on Sony’s end to release them in advance and lessen consumer demand for products on release date. What do you think? Is it smart, or do you think people will find ways to exploit the controller and games before launch somehow, thus making it backfire for Sony? Let me know in the comment section! If you’ve enjoyed, leave a like or a follow, and check out the LP channels in my “Links” tab.