Let me just start this rant off by stating, for the record, that I love technology. Not quite as much as my editor, but not far off. It’s great, near-magical sometimes, and generally makes our modern life better.
The thing I don’t like? The way the industry is treating product launches lately. You might have seen the news recently of Nvidia botching the GeForce RTX 3080 release, when simple store protections such as CAPTCHA would have limited the usefulness of the bots used by scalpers to preorder the graphics cards ahead of actual human purchasers.
Don’t go look on eBay for “RTX 3080” either, as the top, sponsored results are for fake graphics cards, where someone thought it would be funny to list a piece of paper with a printed image of an RTX 3080 on it, for the price of a graphics card.
Then it was Sony’s turn, with the PlayStation 5 preorders. Remember, this won’t be shipping until November 12, so why are the preorder amounts limited? Surely once the known stock amounts are reached, you can just put people onto a waiting list for the next batch? Then again, maybe this will teach people the value of patience… *laughs* wait, what am I talking about, of course, it won’t. At least Sony apologized for the anything-but-smooth launch.
Then the third day of preorder madness arrived today, September 22, with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Surely, Microsoft would fare better? I even said as much this morning, but had to eat my words a short time later, as the Microsoft Store crashed under the traffic. Oops. Add to that, retailer websites that either didn’t show stock, didn’t have listings, put you into a queue, or straight-up didn’t let you add things to cart, and it’s another bungled launch (but presumably a profitable one).
So, three preorders in rapid succession that all broke websites, broke wallets, and most importantly, broke some hearts. Is this the future of retail? At least we’ve got the iPhone 12 launch to look forward to, as Apple knows how to handle preorders. Just let everyone order, and give them staggered shipping dates based on order of, erm, ordering. How civilized.