• PS5 consoles will not be on sale in stores on launch day. You’ll have to place an order online if you want to get the next-gen console on November 12th (or 19th, depending on the region).
  • Sony is taking extra precautions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  • If you preordered a PS5 for pick-up, you should still be able to get it at the store on launch day.

After a rash of hints and rumors trickled online over the last several days, Sony officially confirmed Thursday morning that the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition will only be available online on launch day. The PS5 launches on November 12th in the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, and on November 19th in the rest of the world, but no matter where you live, you won’t be able to buy one in stores.

“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,” said Sid Shuman on the PlayStation Blog today. “No units will be available in-store for purchase on launch day (November 12 or November 19, depending on your region) – 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.”

Sony also added that if you preordered a PS5 console for pick-up at a local retailer, you should still be able to do so on launch day “under the retailer’s safety protocols,” so make sure you’re prepared (with a mask on) when you go to get your console at the designated time that the store gave you when you preordered.

Lining up with a bunch of other excited fans is often one of the best parts of a big new console or game launch, but the novel coronavirus pandemic has obviously complicated everything for everyone. Just yesterday, the US reported 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 in a single day for the very first time, and the last thing Sony wants is to contribute to making the number even larger. It’s a bummer, but a smart move by the company.

We had a chance to unbox the PlayStation 5 last week, and although we can’t say anything more about it, we can confirm that the console is very, very big, so you really wouldn’t want to carry this thing to your car anyway. We still do not know how many units will be available on launch day, as preorders sold out almost immediately a few months ago and haven’t really been replenished since. If and when Sony provides any additional details about where to find a PS5 on launch day — or how many it plans to send to retailers — we’ll let you know.

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.