Gamers that are thinking about picking up the PS4 better act fast once pre-orders go on sale. At least that’s what GameStop suggests since quantities will be very limited at launch.

According to the popular purveyor of new and used games, Sony‘s hot new console has strong purchase intent. Purchase intent, however, is only a measure of interest in a new product (a game like Grand Theft Auto 5 has high purchase intent for example), and is not a true indicator of pre-order potential.

That being said, this is the next-gen we’re talking about, and if the last-gen’s launches taught us anything it was pre-order early. Lines were overlong at launch, and after that the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 (which launched a year earlier) were in very short supply.

It could be argued that Sony learned their lesson, and PS4s will be well stocked come Fall time, but that seems unlikely at this point. Even the Wii U was hard to find at launch, but now those things are everywhere. Unfortunately, people don’t really want them.

As GameStop President Tony Bartel explains, sales were solid at launch, but have tapered off since then.

“The Wii U actually exceeded our expectations at launch. We were actually out of stock early on in the launch period. However, it has been disappointing since the beginning of the year.”

As far as the launch window for the PS4 goes, Bartel believes a similar shortage is likely, although GameStop has not been provided with official unit tallies. For that matter, Sony hasn’t even announced a price — although we expect such an announcement at E3 2013.

When asking GameStop customers the retailer discovered that some 34 percent of gamers planned to purchase a PS4 before the end of the year. Their “survey” included other electronics like mobile phones, tablets, portable gaming devices like the 3DS and Vita, and TVs.

Coincidentally, the survey did not mention the next Xbox. Had it, we might have a better idea as to which console manufacturer is poised to dominate in the next-gen. Unfortunately, Microsoft has yet to show their hand, but they could this month.

Nevertheless, there is a general expectation that the PS4 will be sold out from launch until the end of 2013, so if you expect to get one snap up a pre-order fast, or prepare for some serious eBay bidding.

Are you planning on picking up a PS4 at launch? Do you think Sony will be prepared?

Source: Games Industry

tags: GameStop, PS4, Sony