Whilst many have argued that it is pricing or launch line up that will decide the first round of the next gen console war, it is far likely that the integral first months will be won on the strength of a platform’s stock availability.
Following reports from MCV and IGN, it is now all but confirmed that ALL EXISTING Xbox One Day One Edition pre-orders are guaranteed for launch. Furthermore, GAME and Amazon have also confirmed the existence of a second Xbox One Day One edition bundle which featured the Day One console and a copy of Forza 5 instead of FIFA 14.
Within hours of the new Day One edition sku going on sale, GAME and other UK retailers sold out and as such, until more information from Microsoft or retailers, the news signals that whilst existing pre-orders are guaranteed, further pre-orders may not be. IGN report that whilst other retailers are offering the Day One Xbox One with Forza bundle, only GAME are including a physical copy of Forza 5. This is as yet unconfirmed although IGN appears to have contacted GAME to obtain said news so we have no reason to doubt its accuracy.
That said, between this and the news that Microsoft have started building and shipping completed consoles, there appears to be an air of confidence from Xbox HQ regarding launch stock availability. Could the decision to delay the Xbox One’s launch in several territories means it has the stock levels necessary to beat Sony in key markets? With confirmed release dates on both consoles, we won’t have to wait very long to find out.
Sony on the other hand have suspended pre-orders and have told leading UK retailers that they can no longer guarantee pre-orders for launch day.
A listing on the PS4 Amazon page states, “Due to high demand, orders placed for this PlayStation 4 console from 6 August may be received after release date. We will ship orders as soon as we receive sufficient inventory.”
Sony have reportedly stated that this move is to ensure that there will be stock available for consumers to purchase without having pre-ordered. Furthermore, without official, up to the minute pre-order numbers on either console, it is entirely possible that Sony’s possible stock shortage could be the result of higher demand as seen with Gamestop in the US. Regardless, with the European only inclusion of FIFA 14 or Forza 5 in Day One Xbox’s and Sony’s continued commitment to the territory, the European market, of which the UK is the largest part, can be seen to be a key battleground for both platform holders.
More news on the stock availability of both consoles when we get it.
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