Watch Dogs and Driveclub, two high-profile games planned for release alongside the PS4 and Xbox One, have both seen fairly last-minute delays into next year. However, both of those games had been included in next-gen console preorder bundles. Two readers inform us that today, Target canceled not just their game preorder, but their console preorder as well.
One reader sent us this copy of an email he received from Target hours after Driveclub was confirmed as delayed to next year:
Note the bit at the end, where they inform him that preorders will re-open next week on October 25, on a "first come, first served basis." Salt in the wound, that is.
Another reader tells us that her Watch Dogs PS4 preorder bundle was similarly canceled in its entirety by Target. Driveclub is a PS4 exclusive, which means that only PS4 preorders are likely to be hit by this. Watch Dogs was set for fall release on both Xbox One and PS4.
New consoles are often offered in "bundles" along with hot games, usually as an enticement for customers to preorder and get the console and a game at a discount on day one. The recent delays have put retailers into an unusual situation: They've likely all been counting on Driveclub and Watch Dogs releasing on time, along with the new consoles.
For their part, online retailer Amazon has said that they'll honor Watch Dogs bundle preorders, though they haven't said if customers who preordered bundles will just get their consoles, or if they'll get the console along with some sort of voucher or substitute game. (Update: A couple of readers say Amazon simply transferred their preorders over to a regular-price console preorder with no bundled game.)
We've reached out to Target for clarification on their policy with next-gen preorders and will update if and when we hear back.
Update 10/21: Today a Target spokesperson confirmed to Kotaku that they've cancelled all PS4 preorders that were bundled with games that have at any point seen a delay. That includes inFamous: Second Son, which was initially planned as a PS4 launch game, and The Order: 1886, a game announced at E3 2013 but about which little is known, including its release date.
Their full statement:
The release date for the video games “Watch Dogs,” “Drive Club,” “The Order: 1886,” and “inFamous: Second Son” has been delayed. As a result, Target cancelled pre-orders for Sony Playstation 4 consoles that were going to be bundled with these titles. We sincerely apologize to guests who were inconvenienced and are working directly with them to ensure they receive the console they selected by their original order date. There was no impact to Sony Playstation 4 pre-orders that were sold independently or bundled with other game titles.
Update 2: Our readers report that Target is indeed making good on their pre-orders, assuring them that they'll receive the console they'd wanted on launch day and even offering them $100 gift cards to make up for the inconvenience.