If you want to get a PS5 at launch and still haven't placed a pre-order either at your local retailer or online yet, you'll need to wait for more units to hit retail websites. This morning, Sony has clarified that on launch day (Nov. 12 for the U.S. and Nov. 19 in other regions), there will be no PS5 consoles for in-store purchases at any retail locations.
Sony says that it has decided to restrict sales of PS5 units at launch to online-only "in the interest of keeping [its] gamers, retailers, and staff safe amidst COVID-19." With the pandemic worsening in various regions and new lockdown measures going into place in some areas, avoiding a launch day rush at stores is likely a wise decision.
"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," Sony Interactive Entertainment's Sid Shuman writes. "Be safe, stay home, and place your order online."
In some sense, given the challenges of this year and Sony's approach to meeting demand thus far, this online-only move makes sense. Ahead of putting its own online pre-orders live, Sony decided to limit them to existing PlayStation Network members. Then, on the day Sony announced the prices for the two PS5 models, there was a retailer pre-order free-for-all that saw a rush on online orders and lines quickly forming outside of stores to reserve very limited numbers of units.
Last month, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said he expects the PS5 to sell over 7 million units by the end of Sony's fiscal year on Mar. 31, 2021. That means Sony's hoping to outperform the PS4's launch, which then requires adequate supply—in September, it was reported that Sony cut its fiscal year-end PS5 production target down by 4 million units, though Sony later denied that any reduction in manufacturing has taken place.
For more on the PS5, be sure to read USgamer's initial impressions from going hands-on with the console. We'll have our full review of the console plus reviews for launch titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon's Souls in the coming days.