I usually am completely indifferent about the prospect of a limited or special edition console. I already have all the consoles I want, and scrawling a little picture of Mario or Master Chief or that fat guy from Heavy Rain in the corner of one isn’t going to make me want to shell out another $500 dollars to get the exact same experience. The 20th Anniversary Edition PS4 was one of the few exceptions in the past decade or so. It had a beautiful, sleek design that harkened back to the look and feel of the original PlayStation. Yeah, it’s dumb to buy a console you already own because it is a slightly different color, but this thing hit me right in the nostalgia and nostalgia always makes me do dumb things, like drop quarters in arcade machines for games I own on three different consoles or buy a Sonic game somehow forgetting about the last ten years of abuse I’ve suffered at the hands of that series.
Unfortunately, the release of this sexy, sexy console has been a bit of debacle. A limited number of the consoles were available at PSX 2014 which is an excellent way to distribute some units to hardcore fans. A less desirable way is randomly throwing up the rest of the stock online with like five seconds notice and a shrug of the shoulders. Not only was the announcement out of nowhere, the servers immediately crashed and left many users completely incapable of completing their order.
Now, we understand that this is a limited edition and clearly not everyone that wanted one was guaranteed to get one. And we also understand that Sony is completely allowed to sell their products however they want, so if they wanted to haul them all to a Gary, Indiana flee market and barter them for pig feet then that’s fine. Really weird, and I think they should probably reevaluate their business model because that is going to make investors skittish, but fine. Unfortunately though, the way Sony handled the release of this was just a mess that is hard to wrap your head around.
The buzz around this was huge, and to just drop it randomly on the Internet in the middle of a day with a warning that was really only helpful to clairvoyants was just a complete misstep. Sony only manufactured a limited number of these consoles to help gin up excitement, but then completely blew it by not giving those excited for it enough of a warning to prepare. The servers crashing are also regrettable, but slightly more understandable just due to the volume of people interested in this. Still, it further gives the impression that Sony was grossly unprepared for this amount of interest and the frustration many felt about missing out on this just because they couldn’t get the website to work is totally understandable. It is just a shame that something that so many people were looking forward too was botched so completely and now leaves them completely unable to get what they wanted again short of checking out eBay and paying a huge markup. And no, I’m not just upset I missed out on my chance.
…okay, maybe I am a bit. I have a perfect place for it in my entertainment center, come on Sony do the right thing and release more of these.