October 7th, 2013, 22:27 Posted By: wraggster
An online retailer has come under fire for informing customers who pre-ordered PS4s that they must now pay between £415 and £470 in order to stay in the pre-order queue for launch day.
Since October 3, SimplyGames has sent emails to customers who pre-ordered PlayStation 4 consoles stating they must upgrade their purchase in order to retain their allocated unit.
According to games website PixelEnemy, the online store is also guaranteeing a system on launch day if two or more standalone consoles are purchased. Those who ordered the basic £350 unit, however, will lose their place in the queue unless they upgrade.
Those affected will need to spend at least £415 for an unofficial bundle, with other packages climbing to £470 in price. Eurogamer, which has published an image of the enforced upgrade choices, shows that some bundles contain unofficial dual-charging cables - confirmation that this bundle has been assembled by the retailer and not likely delegated by Sony.
SimplyGames' decision to hold allocated stock at ransom has sparked outrage on the official European PlayStation forums. Users have pledged to never do business with the retailer again.
"Will never order a single thing from them," reads one of the first comments.
Unverified information published elsewhere suggests that CentreSoft, a distributor that has previously delivered stock to SimplyGames, is forcing the retailer's decision by only supplying bundles.
It is not confirmed that CentreSoft still works with SimplyGames, and it is not believed that any other CentreSoft retail partner is enforcing pre-order upgrades, meaning that the accusation appears unfounded.
Sony has also been accused in the matter. It is alleged that, further up the supply chain, the PlayStation 4 manufacturer has supplied more bundles and less standalone systems than previously anticipated. In a statement sent to CVG, Sony denied these claims:
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.CentreSoft was unavailable for comment. An employee told CVG that the company has no media relations workers. SimplyGames has not responded to requests for comment, and it does not appear to have a working office number.
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.
Sony MD Fergal Gara previously told CVG that it was still a possibility that all launch day PS4 stock could be met in the UK, thanks in part to high production yields and favourable allocation.
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