With a PS5 price for India revealed, Sony has yet to announce crucial details about pre-orders or even a concrete PS5 India release date.
“We know that gamers in India are excited to get their hands on PS5,” said a spokesperson from Sony when the company announced the PS5 India price. “Availability in each country is subject to, amongst other things, local import regulations, and our local teams are working through the logistics. We will share an update on launch date for India as more information becomes available.”
However this doesn’t mean plans for a PS5 launch are at a standstill. Here’s what we know so far.
PS5 will not be exclusive to Amazon, Flipkart, Croma, Reliance Digital, ShopAtSC, and Games The Shop
Multiple retailers and distributors speaking to The Mako Reactor under the condition of anonymity have confirmed that Sony has reached out to them to stock the PS5 and its games. Interestingly, Sony hasn’t told them what to expect in terms of quantities or launch window.
“While we’ve been told we’re getting the PS5, we have not been told what our quantities are,” says the owner of game store in Bengaluru. “No date has been given to us either.”
“Sony asked us to stock PS5 games,” says a Delhi-based retailer. “But we told them we can’t commit to that unless we know how many PS5 consoles we are getting.”
PS5 India availability will be limited
At the same time, Sony has also confirmed to several stores across the country that quantities will be extremely limited. Be it the PS5 Digital Edition or the disc variant, finding one officially at launch may be a concern.
“I don’t even know why they want retailers to take pre-orders,” says one sub-distributor. “From what we’ve been told, it seems that are going to be very few consoles to sell at launch.”
What’s more is, sources familiar with Sony’s plans tell us that the company has an India release date as well as a clear idea of how many PS5 consoles it plans to get into the country. While the former was known a month ago, the lack of an allocation plan or even letting stores know how many units they’re getting suggests there won’t be enough to go around at launch.
Granted, PS5 supply appears to be limited the world over but it makes us wonder why the company would spend so much time trying to gauge interest to begin with. PS5 pre-registration forms went up at key retailer websites like Amazon, Games The Shop, and Flipkart in July ostensibly to get an idea of how many consoles to bring to the country at launch.
In all likelihood we may have a situation not too dissimilar to Xbox Series X India pre-orders that sold out in minutes because there were so few allocated to the country.
For its part, Sony’s maintained its silence.
“We cannot comment on our channel strategy for PS5,” reads an email from the company in reply to our queries regarding its PS5 India rollout.
PS5 game prices for India are higher than they should be
Although India’s PlayStation fans may be frustrated by the lack of communication from the company, it gets worse when you factor in PS5 games.
Outside of Sony’s own exclusive launch line up of PS5 games like Demon’s Souls and Destruction All-Stars, there’s been no clarity about third-party games that are releasing only on next-generation hardware like the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
E-xpress Interactive, India’s largest games distributor has not given retailers any indication that next-generation exclusive titles such as Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition will be making it to India. The company also distributes for Sega, 2K, Ubisoft, Capcom, Square Enix, EA, and 505 Games to name a few.
Sure, one of E-xpress’ own publishers, 2K has confirmed that its PS5 and Xbox Series X games will be Rs. 4,599 digitally even before Sony decided on Rs. 4,999 for its PS5 games, but E-xpress hasn’t given a price, release date, or indication at this moment that any games that are not cross-generation (i.e. PS4 games that get free upgrades to PS5 like FIFA 21) will have an India release at retail at this juncture. E-xpress did not reply to multiple requests for comments about next-generation only games sent to them four days prior to the publishing of this story.
Traditionally, most of E-xpress’ publishers have game prices lower than Sony’s own first-party pricing. It’s likely that the company is trying to balance what its publishers want (higher prices) versus what the market needs (lower or similar to PS4 and Xbox One game prices) which is why there’s been nothing in the way of PS5-only games from third-party publishers.
What this means is, outside of a handful of Sony exclusives there’s nothing to bother with on the PS5 that you can’t already play on other platforms during the launch window. Throw in Sony’s own exorbitant Rs. 4,999 price tag for its PS5-only games and there’s very little reason to bother buying a PS5 at launch. You could share PS5 games with a friend digitally and split the cost but few titles at launch even justify this workaround.
From everything we know so far, it seems that if Sony plans to launch the PS5 in India in line with the rest of the world, there probably won’t be enough consoles to go around. In fact, the PS5’s launch seems to be consistent with Sony’s past console releases in India — limited supply coupled with a threadbare launch line up of exorbitantly priced games dull any anticipation or reason to jump in at launch.