Sony’s PS5 pre-order strategy is scarcity marketing on steroids

ps5 preorder website

In a marketing jedi mind trick, Sony is getting users to register for a chance to get an invite to pre-order the PlayStation 5 (PS5) — even though the console’s price has yet to be announced.

The move seems to be scarcity marketing on steroids.

Not only will limited consoles be available for pre-order, but who gets to pre-order will be an invite-only affair.

On top of this, there are even more restrictions. Only current PlayStation owners will be able to register. And those owners need to be in the United States.

According the registration website, Sony’s says its selection criteria is based on your previous interests and PlayStation activities.

As Sony notes: “There will be a limited quantity of PS5 consoles available for pre-order, so we will be inviting some of our existing consumers to be one of the first to pre-order one from PlayStation.”

“Pre-order reservations will be taken on a first-come-first-serve basis, so once you get an invite via email, we encourage you to follow instructions and act fast.”

Getting a PS5 pre-order invite

The general public will be able to pre-order accessories in future. But console pre-orders will only be for invited users.

Even if you do make the cut, you invite will expire after a certain time.

“If selected, the expiration date and time will be included in your selection notification email and while supplies last,” Sony says.

Technically, you can order from outside the US.  But Sony will only ship consoles to addresses within the country.

“If you receive an invite and units are still available, as long as you ship to a US based address, your pre-order reservation will be allowed,” the company says.

Any pre-order with a shipping address outside the US will be cancelled.

Call me a traditionalist, but I’d like to know the price of an item before registering for it.

Technically, you won’t be forced to order the device when the price is unveiled and you receive an invite.

But the scarcity and time limit for invites will add extra pressure on consumers to fork out the cash quickly.

After all, you’re less likely to buy something if you have adequate time to consider its costs and whether it’s really worth it. And then there’s the appeal of being one of the few “chosen ones”.

Feature image: Screenshot/Sony

Megan Ellis


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