What just happened? Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 is scheduled to launch in several major markets including North America, Australia and Japan on November 12. If you were hoping to take in the familiar launch day experience of waiting in line and buying one at your local retailer, well, you’re out of luck.
Sid Shuman, senior director of global content communications with Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in an official PlayStation blog post on Thursday that all day-of launch sales will be conducted through the online stores of retail partners.
To reiterate, that means no units will be available in-store for purchase on launch day, so there’s no need to plan on camping out or lining up at your local retailer early in hopes of taking home a PlayStation 5 console.
Shuman added that buyers who have pre-ordered for pick-up at their local retailer should still be able to do so at their designated appointment time but urged people to confirm those details with their local retailer ahead of time.
The decision was made in the interest of keeping gamers, retailers and staff safe from Covid-19, we’re told.
Not everyone is thrilled about the policy change just one week out from launch, especially gamers that witnessed what happened with Nvidia’s recent RTX 3000 series launch. If you recall, scalpers and bots snapped up much of the initial supply, leaving legitimate gamers frustrated and empty-handed. Is Sony setting itself up for a similar scenario next week?
While it may seem foreign to some, others look forward to the launch day experience of waiting in line and getting to know other diehard gamers in person. The pandemic has ensured that won’t happen this year, and perhaps ever again.