Earlier yesterday, Sony Interactive Entertainment ended its silence around the PlayStation 5’s (PS5) availability in Malaysia, announcing that both the standard and digital edition of the console will officially be available starting 11 December, with prices starting from RM1869.
To that end, game retail outlets were soon allowed to take customer preorders for their own limited stock of the consoles and, to no one surprise, those preorders filled out quickly and very fast. In the case of local outlet, Gamer’s Hideout (GH), its preorder application wasn’t as straightforward.
For context, GH’s opened up preorders for both the standard edition PS5 (read: the one with the disc drive) and Digital Edition at noon today, and orders could only be made online. Due to the anticipation and the limited number of consoles, GH’s preorder page inevitably became flooded and timed out. Fans of the console eventually made it through to the other side, only to be met with something they didn’t anticipate: to place an order for the PS5, customers were forced to make a purchase-with-purchase (PWP) order.
The preorder page has long since been removed, but thanks to external sources, we were able to get screenshots of GH’s PWP bundle; To purchase the standard edition PS5, customers had to choose one game from a list of soon-to-be-released PS5 titles, at full price. In this case, the source chose the PS5 version of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Moving on, the PWP also requires that customers choose from one of three PS4 Mystery Game Packs, among them being a Sports pack and Action Pack. Again, these packs don’t come cheap, and customers would need to fork out RM399 for them. Last but not least, they are also forced to purchase two PS5 accessories that, in this case, are the DOBE PS5 DualSense Trigger Kit and Cover, at RM49.90 per accessory.
All these add-ons, plus the console itself, brings the total price the customer needs to pay to nearly RM3028.60; that’s an additional RM731 that could be best used elsewhere. The existence of the PWP was also confirmed by other local game sites, including BunnyGaming and Gamersantai, who also seemed to have been equally flabbergasted at GH’s practice.
Do note that this PWP pricing applies to the disc version of the PS5, and not the digital edition of the console. Gamers will still need to do a PWP with GH if they want either versions of the console, but compared to the disc version, the final tally only brings the total up by a few hundred ringgit. From its asking price of RM1869.
Oh, and there’s also the option to have the preorder delivered directly to your doorstep; GH lists it as “CMCO Shipping” and that costs an additional RM150.
For those of you who have followed the gaming outlet closely, it should come as no surprise when we tell you that this isn’t the first time GH has found itself under the spotlight. Earlier in the year, the same game retail outlet became a topic of conversation after an internal memo was circulated, asking staff to take either annual or unpaid leave at the height of the Movement Control Order (MCO). The latter being a key point, because our government made it clear that not paying staff during the period was illegal.
To be fair, what GH is doing isn’t technically illegal and unlike scalpers, the shop isn’t inflating the price of the consoles. However, it doesn’t change the fact that forcing customers to purchase something else before they are even allowed to gain access to the core products is highly unethical, especially in fluid times such as these.