• Finding a PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 5 Digital Edition in stores might be a challenge this year.
  • A new report suggests that Sony is instructing retailers not to stock PS5 units in their brick and mortar stores, and is asking them to exclusively sell the new consoles online.
  • Best Buy told employees that it will not be stocking PS5 or Xbox units in stores at launch.

If you were planning to head to a brick and mortar store on November 12th to pick up the PS5 or PS5 Digital Edition, you might want to reconsider those plans. Although it has not been officially announced by Sony at the time of writing, multiple reports suggest that retailers in North America will not be stocking the PS5, PS5 Digital Edition, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S in stores. If you want a new console, your best bet is shopping online.

A recent report from Norwegian site Gamer.no cites several sources who claim that Sony has told its retail partners to only sell the PS5 online rather than in stores. The site even talked to two retailers that said Sony requested they limit sales to their online shops and refrain from stocking them in their physical locations.

It’s not just small European retailers, though, as Marlon Gaming Nation on Twitter shared a Best Buy employee news alert on Tuesday which reveals that “PS5 and Xbox Series X and S will be online only for launch” at the electronics retailer. There won’t be any inventory “allocated to stores for the launch date and until further notice.” It’s not clear if this applies to all Best Buy stores across North America, but if so, we should know soon:

Providing Sony does restrict retailers from selling the PS5 in-store on launch day, there’s no telling when these plans were made. After all, the US is currently experiencing its worst infection rate spike of the entire pandemic, with more than 74,000 Americans testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The last thing that Sony wants to do is help contribute to the spread (or be accused of doing so) by having people show up in droves to cram into a Target or a Walmart in order to secure their PS5. But how many stores will actually play by the rules?

If Sony is indeed telling retailers to limit PS5 sales to the internet, it’s somewhat surprising that we haven’t heard any news about this with just 15 days to go before launch. Preorders sold out in hours, and everyone who missed their chance to preorder is now wondering when and how they will have another opportunity. If driving to your local Best Buy isn’t an option, will there be more stock online in the days to come? We’ll be keeping a close eye on Sony’s social media accounts, because there has to be more to this story, one way or another.

The PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition will be available on November 12th.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.