There Will Be No PS5s in Stores on Launch Day

Posted on November 5, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in PlayStation with 18 Comments

Sony announced today that it will not be offering the PlayStation 5 for sale at retail store locations on its November 12 launch day. Instead, interested customers will need to order the new console online.

“In the interest of keeping our gamers, retailers, and staff safe amidst COVID-19, today we are confirming that all day-of launch sales will be conducted through the online stores of our retail partners,” Sony’s Sid Shuman writes in the announcement post. “No units will be available in-store for purchase on launch day (November 12 or November 19, depending on your region) [so] 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.”


I guess that’s understandable, but I also suspect this has as much to do with supply as it does with public safety. After all, each retailer handles the social distancing requirements themselves, and this is not something Sony should have to even think about.

And on that note, Mr. Shuman does note that gamers who pre-ordered the PS5 for pick-up at a retailer “should still be able to do so at their designated appointment time, under the retailer’s safety protocols.”

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “There Will Be No PS5s in Stores on Launch Day”

  1. wright_is

    The stores handle the social distancing inside, but if hundreds turning up outside and jostling for position (i.e. the first ones leave the required 1.5M - 2M distance between themselves, you just no some idiots are going to come along and slot themselves in the social distance gap! Then there will be screaming and shouting, if not blows...

  2. blue77star

    It has nothing to do with Sony but AMD ability to produce enough chips for both consoles and PCs.

  3. Patrick3D

    If stores advertised having consoles in-store at launch they will have Hell to pay with Consumer Rights attorneys.

  4. nickel

    I wonder if this isn't what people are making it out to be. Perhaps they are still shiping or have shipef the units to the stores, but in discussions with their retail partners decided since they all have the ability to order online for same day in-store pickup or curbside pickup that instead of people lining up out side, going inside grabbing a console going to the counter and paying they are instead going go to the stores website or app, pay for it drive up and have the console brought out to your car or go in to the store and pick up at the counter? Doesn't mater to me I want an Xbox, but I'll be trying online for one no way I would stand inline for one in non pandemic times let alone now lol

    • solomonrex

      In reply to Nickel:

      The international market is far more important to them, and most everywhere else in the world that are taking this more seriously than the US, to put it mildly. So I think we can take them at face value. They're being safe as much for PR as genuine concern, I bet.

  5. scovious

    September 16th 2020 Sony said, "While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg [that the PS5 is experiencing production issues] is false ... We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production."

    It would seem Sony just re-directed all their 'physical store' PS5s into 'pre-order' PS5s to hide their production issues. Maybe no one will even notice...

  6. sammyg

    Sony is flubbing up this gen already.

  7. rm

    There is no way any store is going to have a lot of these consoles anyway. So, Sony is just hurts retail by doing this. If the retail store simply said we have 2 PS5's in stock, the line might have 10 people in it. Even with COVID, that is not bad. Sony, should be helping its retailers/distribution channel, not hurting it. Well, actually they have about completely failed retail now by not getting more units made sooner.

    • sammyg

      In reply to RM:

      "launch sales will be conducted through the online stores of our retail partners"

      The is using the same retailers, just no lines. No one is being hurt.

      All the local stores in my area, Target, BB, and Walmart had already moved to online buying of any local launch day inventory anyhow, before this announcement.

      Basically they all got rid of the open at midnight stuff from past. You order online at midnight and if you get lucky, you pick it up when they open.

    • glenn8878

      In reply to RM:

      In the long run, Sony will sell more PS5 than Xbox. Retail will benefit.

    • ryokurin

      In reply to RM:

      You can look at the Nvidia launches where there's signs all over that say we have 20 cards, yet there was 100 people in line "just in case a shipment magically appears"

      Target by me has had a sign up for a while that stated any launch day machines won't be available for over the counter purchases, you need to go online and schedule a pickup/drive up, even if you preordered. It's about safety at this point. No one wants a ton of people camping for a week for a launch day machine.

  8. remc86007

    The rumors I've heard is that Sony ordered fewer units from AMD/TSMC and did so at a later date than Xbox. I think we are going to be looking at a serious shortage through early 2021 of PS5.

    I hope I can get my hands on a Series X by Christmas.

  9. aelaan

    I have long given up on the thought of owning a PS5 - This is a very bad move on the side of Sony. Let's play it out:

    Next week THURSDAY I might be able to order.

    Amazon might have them, I am a prime member so I should receive it by November 13.....

    Well, not so fast... Amazon will be overwhelmed and will have their stock sold in less than 10 minutes.