In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be living in an entirely new generation (of video games). However, if you didn’t pre-order your PS4 or Xbox One long ago, you’ll be stuck living in the past, as the two consoles have been sold out for quite a while. There are still a few ways to get your hands on a launch PS4 or Xbox One, but it’ll require a bit of dedication and patience. Read on, to find out how to get a launch PS4 or Xbox One. At the end of the story, if you’re looking to get a cheap PS4 or Xbox One, we have a section that lists the best deals and bundles.
It’s important to note that if you didn’t pre-order your consoles long ago and also don’t manage to snag one on launch day, you won’t be missing much for a while. Consoles rarely launch with a must-have title, and when they do, that title is also available on the previous generation. Sure, the graphics won’t be as pretty, but then again, launch games on new consoles don’t look nearly as good as games do toward the end of the console lifespan — especially because the more advanced our console graphics become, the less our eyes notice. That said, it’s still alluring to own a day-one console, and if you’re going to purchase a multi-generation game, it might as well be on the new one. So, if you’re dead-set on getting a launch console, there are still a few avenues down which you can travel.
Walmart is currently your best bet to secure your launch console, but there are two catches. First, you can only pre-order a PS4, not an Xbox One. Second, this launch console will ship before Christmas, but not by the November 15 launch date. The availability of PS4 pre-orders isn’t because the console is less popular than its competitor — quite the contrary — demand for the console is so high that Walmart has opened up pre-orders for the second wave of launch consoles. So, it’s not that the PS4 is actually available — it’s just so popular that Walmart is selling future consoles. As for the Xbox One, those are sold out as well, but Walmart has not secured future stock.
This method requires the least amount of effort, and returns the highest rate of securing a console. The caveat is, you’ll be waiting around a month to get your PS4 (but that may not be an issue, if there are no launch games that you want to play).
Best Buy and GameStop will be hosting midnight launches for both consoles, and Best Buy claims it will have limited stock for those who didn’t pre-order a unit. Best Buy has had limited, non-pre-order stock with consoles in the past (it was the easiest place to secure a non-reserved launch PSP in a big city, for instance), so the big box chain will be your best bet for a November 15 console.
GameStop, on the other hand, is notorious for not having enough stock regardless of the company’s claims — even for those who pre-ordered. Of course, this is a case-by-case basis, but everyone has known a friend who works or has worked at GameStop at one point who claims that all of the non-reserved units get snatched up and auctioned by store employees. Consult Best Buy’s PS4 midnight launch locator and Xbox One midnight launch locator to maximize your chances.
If you can manage it, the best strategy is always to find the most out-of-the-way store you can, and get there as early as possible. If you live in a large metropolitan area, a midnight launch is going to require a lot of dedication; you may need to travel quite far and take off work the following day so you can travel back.
The second-hand market is the worst-case scenario, but it’s your last resort if you must have a console at launch. Prices will be outrageous, they always are. However, it’s reliable, as the person selling you a PS4 or Xbox One at five times the retail price has every intention of making the sale. You’ll get the console a few days later since the seller has to ship it — and you’ll be paying much more money than if you waited a couple months — but you’ll get it before Walmart’s second wave of pre-orders kicks in.
If you go this route, make sure you’re bidding on the actual console, and not the sketchy listings that auction off the box without any hardware inside of it. The auction title and item descriptions usually say something like, “brand new box” instead of “brand new console.”
Other than the above methods, you’re going to have to wait it out. Again, if you’re not twitching in anticipation to play Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty: Ghosts, NBA 2K14, or the other meager launch day offerings (especially because you can get the big titles on PS3 and Xbox 360), it shouldn’t take too long for Sony and Microsoft to restock the shelves. They want to take your money as much as you want to give it to them.
PS4 and Xbox One deals and bundles
If the $ 399 price tag wasn’t appealing enough, Sony has announced that the PS4 will get a trio of promotions on launch day. Every retail PS4 box will contain a voucher for a $ 10 wallet credit for the PSN store, a 30-day free PlayStation Plus trial membership, and a 30-day Music Unlimited trial membership. The two 30-day trials are only valid for new subscribers. While these vouchers won’t blow you away, a month of PSN+ will get you some free games (until the trial runs out), and $ 10 is better than $ 0, as it could buy you some DLC or a PSN game.