The launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One will be met with a global shortage of the next-generation consoles. GameStop has said fans who pre-ordered two years ago will be served first, with many pre-orders unlikely to be fulfilled until early 2014.
The vice-president for GameStop Northern Europe Niall Lawlor told Siliconrepublic.com that many consumers are likely to be disappointed as the first wave of the products arrive and supply won’t be able to keep up with demand.
The Microsoft Xbox One launches on 22 November and the Sony PlayStation 4 will launch a week later on 29 November.
All GameStop stores – including the 51 in Ireland – will be open at midnight on each day to provide the consoles to longest-waiting pre-orders that stretch back two years.
Locally in Ireland, pre-orders stretch to ‘tens of thousands’ of games consoles.
Lawlor added that even those who pre-ordered since then are unlikely to receive their games consoles before Christmas and it may be early in the new year before they get their hands on them.
The revelation also means gaming fans who expected to casually walk in and buy their prized console of choice won’t be able to do so until early 2014.
“Unfortunately no, our pre-orders are exceeding the demand we are going to fill,” Lawlor told Siliconrepublic.com.
Video: GameStop Northern Europe VP confirms shortages of next-generation consoles
“I think what’s gonna happen is we will be able to fill the first wave, which will probably get us up to Christmas but beyond Christmas I don’t think we are going to be able to fill everybody’s pre-orders or the demand that will come after Christmas.
“I think as we go into 2014, early 2014, we are going to see the demand actually start to meet supply at that point.”
He said fans of either console began placing their orders two years ago. “When we started to understand that there were new consoles coming we started immediately taking pre-orders so the people who put in their pre-order early, particularly for the PlayStation 4, are going to actually be the first ones to get it and usually what happens is these people will turn up at our stores. All 51 of the [Irish] stores will be open and they will get a console, which is fantastic for them.
“After that, as the allocations come in, we’ll be able to announce to our stores and website how many are available even by store.”
So, will there be disappointed gamers even on Christmas Day? “Unfortunately yes, that is probably going to be the case, but we will, of course, keep everybody up to date through Twitter and Facebook pages on how our allocations are going.
“It’s a very big pent-up demand. People have been waiting a along time for these, it’s been seven or eight years since the Xbox 360 and PS3 launched.”
The Xbox One console