September 22, 2011

The Pre-Order

I'm sure this has happened to you before. You walk into a video game store and you are immediately  approached by a salesman and asked if you would like to pre-order any video games. The normal thing to do, if you were indeed intending to pre-order any games, would be to say yes and head towards the cash register and pay the $5 down payment that they usually ask for. Once you have your game "reserved", you leave the store happier than a clown, and wait patiently for the launch day of the game. Nothing seems wrong with that, right?

But ask yourself, why? Why do we "reserve" or pre-order games? This is one of the questions that came up during our recent purchase of Gears of War 3 for the Xbox 360. That was just one of many games that we pre-ordered this year. Some other games that you may remember are: Pokemon Black, Pokemon White, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS, The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Sonic Generations, just to name a few.

We are told that if we reserve a game we will be guaranteed a copy, and that is what seems to be the obvious driving factor to even think of pre-ordering a game. But the more and more that we pre-order games, the more and more it seems unnecessary. Stores will never run out of games, maybe consoles, but never on games. Even Halo 3, the best-selling Xbox 360 title to date, still had copies in the store on its launch day. So this just goes to show that game pre-orders are just not worth it anymore. Sure it's only $5 for the person reserving the game. But to the store itself, which is probably getting a lot of pre-orders, it could be millions of dollars of extra cash that they can spend early on things that they desire.

Since it was mentioned before, and you're probably thinking of this right now, let's talk about consoles. Consoles are a whole different story. Unlike games, which rarely ever sell out, if ever, consoles always sell out on launch day. At least for the modern consoles that is, we wouldn't be able to talk about the previous ones much since we weren't there to experience it. The Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 all were sold out on their launch day, and if you weren't out in line waiting for one then you didn't get one. The sad thing is that we can never reserve these things. It would make so much more sense to have pre-orders on consoles, because you know that those will always be hard to find after the day that they're launched. We can pre-order handhelds, which is also a good investment, but not family home consoles. This is something that must change. Maybe I'll write a letter to all the major companies like Gamestop, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Toys 'R' Us...or not.

Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Pre-Order Bonuses

All in all, this may be the last year that I personally pre-order games, can't speak for Chris on this one. Now we're not saying to not pre-order anymore, because some stores do have some good incentives, such as exclusive characters, levels, sounds, etc...So if that's the case then pre-order by all means. For example, let's bring up Halo one last time, if you pre-ordered Combat Evolved Anniversary you will get an exclusive character outfit for your Avatar, that seems to justify the $5 you put down. So next time you walk into a video game store and you're asked about pre-ordering, think about this blog post and ask yourself if it's really worth it. You could always use those $5 to get yourself something nice to eat, or just save them up for that car that you will want 5-10 years from now, trust us on that one.


  1. The $5 goes toward the game you're purchasing, though... You're not losing out on the money if you pre-order, lol. But I don't bother to pre-order, unless there's something special that comes with it that I want or if it's a bundle that may sell out (Such as the Skyward Sword bundle).

  2. Gears of War 3 surpassed one million worldwide pre-orders, making it the fastest pre-ordered Xbox exclusive title to reach this milestone...""

    This is to be expected, when this is THE ONLY WORTHWHILE GAME EXCLUSIVE ON THE XBOX 360 THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE THIS YEAR!!! The Xbox seriously needs some non-kinect hardcore exclusives to be released this year..."