Pre order now is what you hear at the end of pretty much every video game trailer these days. Many of us are preprogrammed to pre order any game that we have an interest in and many of us have been doing it for years. Still with that being said is pre-ordering games worth it?
Before I get to the games I want to talk about hardware. When it comes to hardware I would always advise on pre-ordering. I would not have gotten a PlayStation 2, 4, Xbox 360 and most recently an NES Classic Mini had I not pre-ordered them. Always pre order your hardware! Worst case scenario if you decide in the week leading up to it, you can give the pre order to someone else or just let it go.
For Free Stuff, Yes
Back in the 90’s and even the early 00’s, it was not unusual for a game to throw you a free memory card, T-shirt, art book or some other physical item for pre-ordering a game. I have no problem doing this at all and if you are a collector much of the time these pre order physical bonuses tend to be more collectible than the game they were promoting. If there is a game I like and a store is offering something cool like a t-shirt that I also like then I have no problem pre-ordering at all.
For In Game Content, Maybe
Hmm, this is a hard one as on one hand I have done this before. I have pre-ordered a game so that I got something in game for free. But on the flip side of this, everyone who buys the game new should get the same content in my opinion. I hate developers holding stuff back as a pre order bonus, especially if it is for a specific store. A new character or skin is something that really bugs me, but at the end of the day, using WWE 2K19 as a recent example. If you want to play as Ronda Rousey then you have to pre order it! I get why they do this, but it does not mean that I like it. Still, if you have an interest in the pre order DLC then it is worth doing.
For Games In General, No
A game like Red Dead Redemption 2, Call Of Duty Black Ops IIII and Fifa 19 is not going to be in short supply! Unless you are getting some kind of cool free gift or in game item you want. There is no advantage to pre-ordering a bit name game. You are better shopping around on the day and finding the best deal for you.
For Niche Games, Yes
While I would never pre order a monster triple A title. For a more niche game like a JRPG or a game based on something a little more obscure, I would always advise pre-ordering. I remember when the first Ni No Kuni came out for the PlayStation 3. I never pre-ordered and each store I went into on the day of release said the same thing, “we only got a couple of copies” so if the game you are interested in is a little bit on the niche side, pre order just to make sure you get your copy.