There was a time when pre-ordering was not only a nifty new invention, it was also very beneficial.
I worked at an Electronics Boutique in my youth and I was around when pre-ordering video games just got rolling. It was quite the phenomenon.
Imagine, being able to put money down on a game that wasn't here yet, but you'd be guaranteed a copy come launch day. See, there was a time when game stores didn't always receive hundreds of copies of a big game on launch day. And if the game was bound to be a bit more obscure, pre-ordering was even more critical. For instance, I remember pre-ordering Disgaea: Hour of Darkness and our store ended up getting two copies on release day. That's hardly the only example, either.
But really, does it even matter anymore? Every time they ask me what I want to pre-order at the store, I just shrug and say it isn't necessary. And it isn't. If I really want it when it comes out, I'm sure to find it somewhere, even if it's not at that particular store. Granted, it's easier to pre-order so you know where your copy is, but I also can't remember the last time I raced out on launch day to get something. Maybe those days are gone. And let's not forget that there are a lot more games available now.
Do you still pre-order? Do you pre-order as often or less often than you used to?