Customers who pre-ordered a PlayStation 5 from UK retailer Game may not receive it on launch day, partly because of huge demand – and also the size of the console.

In an email to customers, Game blamed courier firm Yodel, which has strenuously denied it is at fault.

People keen to get their hands on the console are also struggling to order with other online retailers.

There are huge virtual queues on retailer Curry’s website.

The PS5 is released in the UK on 19 November but lockdown has meant that people cannot purchase one in physical stores. The US launch took place last week.

Currys PC World was forced to institute a virtual queuing system which grew to 150,000 long, while John Lewis and Game’s own site suffered slow loading times as they were inundated with hopeful shoppers. There were also issues with the Tesco and John Lewis websites.

Those hoping to receive their consoles today are from pre-orders that took place in September. Many people who were not allocated a pre-order tried to buy a console when launch day stock went on sale at 09:00.

Size matters

People pre-ordering from one of the largest retailers, Game, may face disappointment if they were expecting to unbox their goods on launch day.

In an email to customers, Game said: “Due to the volume of PlayStation 5s in the UK market and the size of the product, the launch has led to UK-wide delivery challenges for all retailers and couriers.”

It goes on to say that it has had to use “multiple couriers” to get the consoles delivered on time but then singled out Yodel, saying the firm has “informed us that not all orders due to be delivered by them will be delivered on release day”.

Yodel issued a furious clarification about its role. “Yodel does not work directly with Game. Our client is GFS, a fulfilment business who work in partnership with Game,” it said in a statement.

“We have been consistently clear on the order volumes we are able to carry for them and it is deeply disappointing that Yodel’s name has been incorrectly used in an email to customers on the status of orders.”

It said there were “currently no delays within our network”.

media captionWATCH: Hands-on with the PS5

Game has since clarified that the “vast majority” of deliveries would be made on time, with the remainder coming a day later.

Launch day woes

Nevertheless, the delays have led to customers venting frustration on Twitter – much of it targeted at Yodel.

Good luck to everyone getting a PS5 from @GAMEdigital @GAMEHelps today. Yodel are missing deliveries, and royal mail have changed their 24hr service to 1-5 days. Really should have sent them out earlier, as these delays have been known for weeks

— Martyn Licchelli (@DKRMartyn) November 19, 2020

Some of those who had pre-ordered from Game asked why they had paid an extra fee to have a Royal Mail delivery that has now been given to another courier firm.

Others reported delays with orders from Amazon and other retailers.

Piers Harding-Rolls, a gaming analyst with research firm Ampere said demand for both the PS5 and the new Xbox consoles had been very strong and would probably “come in waves as the product is restocked”.

“Clearly it is disappointing for consumers that have pre-ordered not to receive their console on launch day. The situation is exacerbated as there is no opportunity to buy on launch day at physical retail as in the past.

“Whether you are impacted or not appears to come down to the retailer you pre-ordered with which indicates that this is a company-specific issue rather than a broader industry problem. The UK is not alone in this respect – some US retailers also had their challenges last week during the launches.”