You may have had to read that headline a few times to make sense of it, because the idea that Harvey Norman is doing right by gamers and their “leisure computers” is pretty insane, but it’s true: Harvey Norman is letting people pre-order the latest Xbox One in the best possible way.
All three major retailers — Harvey Norman, EB Games and JB Hi-Fi — are now taking online pre-orders for the new Xbox One. All the prices float around the $900 mark, but the retailers quick to point out that they are “to be confirmed” (read: fictional).
So presumably you can just put a few bucks down to secure your place in line for an Xbox One, right? Not exactly.
EB Games requires a minimum deposit of $50 to secure your place in the line, which isn’t too bad, but that pales in comparison to JB Hi-Fi, which requires you to pay the whole amount in order to secure your console online today. You know, the console that doesn’t have a confirmed price or release date yet.
More power to you if you have a lazy $900 kicking around that you aren’t using (I can send you my PayPal details if you have more you want to part with), but JB’s requirement to pay the whole amount upfront when pre-ordering online seems a tad extreme.
As we know from the closure of GAME Australia, paying for pre-orders in full is always a risky proposition for you, the purchaser, because if that company goes into receivership then you become a creditor sitting at the bottom of the barrel of importance, and your money disappears into a black hole of legal process.
I’m not suggesting for a moment that JB Hi-Fi is in a position where it’s about to dramatically shut it’s doors — quite the contrary: it’s doing well — but it’s worth pointing out the risk. If you’re really hard-up on pre-ordering from JB Hi-Fi, go into store and work out a deal with a real person. They’ll usually take about a $100 deposit for the machine.
Harvey Norman, however, is doing this whole pre-order malarkey correctly: it doesn’t require you to put down a damn thing to secure your spot in line. It’s a process that straddles the line between pre-ordering the unit and registering your interest, which is exactly what you should be doing for a console that has neither a price nor a release date.
Bravo, Gerry. Leisure computer users thank you. [Lifehacker]