UPDATE: Report: “Forced” PS4 bundles by retailers mandated by Sony
Authored by Patrick Day-Childs
Sony has finally sent us an official statement which can be read below, but we’ve also received an update from our source and we’ve included that, too.
Sony is not and would not force anyone to buy something they don’t want. We value our consumers and offered the bundles precisely to give them choice and value. And the key word there is choice.
We continue to work closely with our retail partners to ensure we offer this choice against the challenges of managing demand and inventory in the climate of amazing excitement and unprecedented demand for PlayStation 4.
Here’s the email sent to us by our source and it also includes an image verifying what he said. We’ve edited the punctuation and grammar slightly, aside from that this is word for word what was said:
Centresoft who handle the UK distribution of Sony products called all retailers (80% independent names including Shop.to, SimplyGames etc, as well as supermarkets) and stated that the allocation of CONFIRMED pre-orders for independent retailers were now comprised of 50% solus machines and 50% bundles. We were given a couple of Mega packs, 9 Killzone bundles and 3 Watch_Dogs packs. All of which are the same bundles being offered to everyone.
However, when I asked if customers chose not to have a Killzone pack, would they be entitled to a solus machine that was originally allocated, we were informed no.
Other retailers were informed they were to take additional DualShock 4s for a high attach rate for the machines, again meaning “forced” bundles being offered by the likes of SimplyGames and whomever else is being told this. Again this is being sold to us by Centresoft. They are the only official channel other than being direct with Sony in the UK.
This basically means that customers who don’t wish to upgrade to any of the bundles we have left (believe me when I say Killzone ISN’T in our top 10 of pre-ordered titles) are being left in the dark or on the wave 2 list of stock which is not guaranteed before Christmas.
Amazon, Play, Game etc are all direct with Sony, Sony will cater for them far more than they will for supermarkets and Independent as the market share is piss all compared to the volume online sites sell.
It may just be Centresoft forcing these on us and it wouldn’t be the first time but I can state this is what I have been informed by the representatives I speak to on a daily basis.
It sounds like, this is more due to Centresoft – not Sony.
Earlier today we reported that UK retailer Simply Games had been forcing people into upgrading their PlayStation 4 pre-orders if they wanted to get a unit at launch.
After a lot of digging, calling around various retail stores and a very confusing conversation. I finally found out the root of this and honestly, it’s quite upsetting.
According to a retailer who wished to remain anonymous, it seems Sony themselves are forcing the bundles upon retailers — at least in the UK. We’ve included his statement in full below:
“PlayStation 4 pre-ordered stock is no longer just the standard machine for everyone, around half the stock are now bundles which we have to push as a forced option on customers. So instead of having 100% as solus with the option to upgrade, its now 50% Solus and 50% forced/by choice upgrades for the customer.”
“So its a play by play case for us, luckily most of our customers who have got a bundle wanted the extra games anyway. Its just a bit shitty that if they don’t they actually don’t have a choice.”
For reference, “solus” means “alone,” or in this case, standalone units.
There you have it. So for those people blaming retailers for forcing you to buy bundles just to get a launch day PS4, now you know why.
In any case, seems like we owe Simply Games an apology.
We’ve emailed Sony for a response but have yet to hear back. We will, of course, update the story once they’ve replied with a statement.