Sony Interactive Entertainment has cautioned consumers to not go out in search for a PlayStation 5 console on the day of launch.
According to an update posted on the official PlayStation blog earlier today, the only way to purchase a PS5 console at launch will be through online stores. There will be no console units available for purchase at any physical outlet and hence, consumers should not be planning to camp or line up at their local retailer in hopes of finding a PS5 console for purchase.
We are confirming that 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
PlayStation 5 launches on November 12 or November 19 depending on the region. Both dates will hence see online-only purchases in respective regions. The reason Sony has decided to put a stop to in-store purchases is because of COVID-19. The launch of PS5 will naturally see many consumers going out in hordes to purchase any available unit. Sony has warned everyone against that. By limiting all PS5 purchases to online, consumers can stay at home and safely order online instead of risking themselves by standing in the midst of a crowded retailer.
Those who have already placed pre-orders through local retailers will still be able to do so. They only need to confirm the pickup-time from their retailer. It remains to be seen though if online-only purchasing will be disabled from the second day of launch. It would not make a difference if consumers start lining up in front of their local stores from the second or third day onwards.
The online-only purchasing should also make it easier for Sony in terms of supply and demand. PS5 pre-orders were sold out within minutes and sometimes within the hour last month. The console is already sold out in Japan and the region confirmed earlier today that new stocks should not be expected at launch. All orders need to be online.
PlayStation 5 and its all-digital edition retail at $500 and $400 respectively.