Now then, I want to add in my two cents. I think a lot of the mental urge to go out and preorder a game is also based around the fact at some point you did it once, and were glad you did. So you did it again, and then again. Right? Eventually, preordering games you wanted became routine (probably with a little encouragement from your local GameStop Game Advisor), and eventually the idea of not preordering something became an alien concept to you.
That's how I was about 5 years ago, and then something changed. In 2007 I went to work for a major publisher (I am no longer there now however). One of our perks was that every one of our games was DEEPLY discounted, or free if I worked on it. This meant that about 50% of the games I wanted to play each year I knew I could pick up at the company store on campus on launch day for a stupid deal. It also meant that I could trade a copy of one of these cheap games to one of my friends at most other publishers for a free copy of whatever their new release was. For about 90% of my console game needs, I no longer needed to set foot inside a brick and mortar store. This, almost overnight, snapped me out of the desire to ever preorder a game again.
Fast forward to now, and while I have not worked at this publisher in a year, I am still quite content with the idea of not preordering games in the store. I grew so very accustomed to picking them up on launch day or even the day after due to my situation. To me I do not at all feel like I am left out in any fun by this. Now, when things drop, with the lack of any pressure being felt I take some time to round up reviews the day of release, and on more than one occasion *coughAliensColonialMarinescough* I decided to not head to the store after all. Granted, Niero pointed out there are incentives and perks they are trying to entice us with, but we do not need these to enjoy the core game experience!
Just my two cents on how I wanted to reinforce the earlier article by Niero. My point is, we really don't HAVE to preorder games to enjoy them. They will still be there for us to buy once we really, truly, know we want to invest in them. You just need to condition yourself to resist the pressure and pushing from stores and publishers to do it if you feel it is wrong. Everything else I have to say on the mater is literally an echo of what he wrote so I will spare you. Hopefully this post will not upset my friends still in the industry. The fact of the mater is preorders are a huge deal internally for studios in terms of many ways of measuring things, but at the end of the day if the game is good people will buy it when it releases, and they are going to see that money one way or another if it has earned it. Honestly I think putting the practice on the back burner and putting less emphasis on the practice would actually be good for the industry and studios all around, but that's just my opinion.