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PS5 UK launch day: John Lewis and GAME websites crash as customers try to buy console
19 November 2020, 09:46 | Updated: 19 November 2020, 12:27
The websites of John Lewis and the video game site GAME crashed today as tens of thousands of people tried to order the new Playstation 5 console on launch day.
The head of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) said the PS5 will deliver a "new era for gaming" as it went on sale in the UK today.
But as customers flocked online to try to get their hands on the console, several major retailers' websites crashed.
The surge in demand is made all the worse since people cannot physically buy a console in stores due to coronavirus measures.
Some 18,000 people were being held in a queue this morning in the initial rush as they waited to buy the console from major outlets.
There were also around 200,000 people in a virtual queue, according to furious tweets.
A person on Twitter wrote: "200,000 in the queue ahead of me WTH. I guess Currys PC World has more PS5s."
Once the console became available on the Amazon website, the site crashed too.
John Lewis announced it had sold out of consoles after 10am.
In a statement, the retailer tweeted: "The Playstation 5 console has been incredibly popular and is now out of stock on our website. We apologise if you were unable to purchase one."
The GAME website message simply reads: "This site can't be reached."
Of all the websites fucking up the PS5 launch, at least Amazon have the decency to show me some doggos pic.twitter.com/oafPJeUAUK— Josie (@pizzachu_x) November 19, 2020
The Playstation5 console has been incredibly popular and is now out of stock on our website. We apologise if you were unable to purchase one.— jlandpartners (@jlandpartners) November 19, 2020
In a statement, Currys said: "Our 9am go live for the PS5 is unfortunately on hold. We’re really sorry as we know a lot of you are really excited to get your hands on the PS5, we are hoping that it will go live later today."
Tesco's website for ordering PS5s was removed from Google search and GAME's page also failed to load.
The console was available online from 9am and sites were swamped within minutes.
The surge comes ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are the busiest shopping days of the year.
Game consoles are now expected to be in short supply as a result.
The PS5 is several times more powerful than the current generation PlayStation 4 and is able to handle higher-quality graphics with significantly shorter loading times.
Jim Ryan, president and chief executive of SIE, said the new system had "limitless possibilities".
I'm thrilled for the new worlds that players will begin to experience today
As well as the flagship version of the console which features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive and is priced at £449, Sony is releasing a slimmer, digital-only version of the console which costs £349.
"Today marks a historic moment for the PlayStation brand, and all of us at SIE are pleased to celebrate the release of PlayStation 5 together with our community of fans, game developers, and industry partners," Mr Ryan said.
"PS5 is a truly next-generation console representing the beginning of a new era for gaming.
"I'm thrilled for the new worlds that players will begin to experience today, and I'm equally excited for the line-up of games still to come for PS5 that will continue to propel the gameplay experience forward.
"We are humbled to work with a talented community of world-class game developers. Their creativity will bring limitless possibilities to what the future of gaming can look like on PS5."
The console, which first released in the United States and several other countries last week, has so far received positive reviews from critics.
Its launch also comes in the wake of rivals Microsoft releasing their own next-generation consoles - the Xbox Series X and Series S - making it a landmark month for the video games industry.
PlayStation has marked the launch of the console in the UK by taking over several London Underground stations, including redesigning the roundels outside Oxford Circus station to match the famous cross, circle, triangle and square shapes found on the PlayStation controller.
This story is being updated