The PlayStation 5 has been one of the most anticipated gaming launches in a long long time, but the struggle to actually buy one of the consoles has been real.
And it doesn’t look like it’s going to get easier any time soon, with Sony today, November 5, announcing there will be no PS5 consoles available for in-person walk-in purchases when it officially goes on sale next week.
The company is worried about huge queues forming outside stores across the world, and is warning fans that anyone showing up to try and buy a console who hasn’t already pre-ordered is going to end up going home empty handed.
In a blog post shared by the company, Senior Director Sid Shuman wrote:
All day-of launch sales will be conducted through the online stores of our retail partners.
No units will be available in-store for purchase on launch day (November 12th or November 19th, depending on your region) — please don’t plan on camping out or lining up at your local retailer on launch day in hopes of finding a PS5 console for purchase. Be safe, stay home, and place your order online.
It’s not clear whether the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affected Sony’s decision to go online only, but clearly given the circumstances the company would rather avoid being seen as unnecessarily encouraging large crowds.
Sony has faced a fair bit of criticism for the way it has handled pre-orders for the much-anticipated launch. As soon as the company announced the console, a mad scramble to pre-order saw most major retailers selling out almost instantly. Within 12 hours of going live, the PS5 had already outsold what the PS4 managed in 12 weeks.
Adding to the chaos, over recent weeks some places, most notably Amazon, have been warning that they can’t guarantee they’ll be able to deliver pre-ordered consoles for November 12th, although last night, November 4, Amazon said it was on track to meet most of its estimated delivery dates.
The good news is, if you’re one of the lucky few who did manage to get an in-store pre-order sorted, you’ll still be able to pick it up in store as promised. Major US stores including Best Buy and Target have all confirmed that they’ll have pre-ordered consoles available to pick up on the day.
While Sony’s announcement is focused on avoiding queues on launch day, it’s important to point out that the situation is probably not going to change any time soon. So don’t rock up to your nearest store next week expecting to get your hands on a console then.
And besides, with countries like the UK and France currently in lockdown, plenty of stores that would ordinarily be selling the consoles won’t be open anyway.
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