Last month, retailer GameStop began accepting "limited" preorders for the PlayStation 3, asking customers to put down $100 in advance for the system, with a modest expectation of eight units per store in most cases. Now it appears the largest gaming specialty chain in North America won't be receiving even that many systems.
A GameStop representative told GameSpot today that the company received launch allocation numbers from Sony, and that it won't be able to fill its existing PS3 preorders. The representative declined to comment on how many systems GameStop expected to receive, or how short of that figure the company's share of systems would be.
"We are beginning to notify our customers that our initial shipment of PS3 systems will not be what we expected," the representative said. "As this is not an ideal situation, we are asking employees to wait to purchase systems until the second shipment. We are anticipating having systems to cover reservations before Christmas."
For launch day, preorders will be filled in the order they were received, and those who had a preorder but are denied a system on day one will receive something for their troubles. GameStop will give those unfortunate customers (as well as unfortunate employees) a free used game or DVD valued at $19.99 or less when they eventually wind up purchasing the system.
Those who reserved a system won't need to wait long to find out if they can expect a system on launch day. Starting tomorrow, customers who preordered a PS3 will be contacted personally by phone and updated on the status of their reservation, the rep said.
And while it might be a nonissue considering the clamor for consumers to get their hands on the coveted systems, GameStop is also asking anyone with a confirmed preorder to pick their systems up by Saturday evening.