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Cancel your campout: PS5 launch is online only, with no in-store sales planned

By Jacob Oller
PlayStation 5

Those looking to weather dropping temperatures and don masks in order to wait in line for a PlayStation 5 will need to pack up their tents, unplug their space heaters, and reconsider their plan to obtain one of Sony's next-gen consoles. The PS5's launch will be entirely online this year, with no in-person retail plans yet announced.

According to a new post on Sony's official blog, this strategy — which makes those pre-orders and limited supplies much more important in retrospect — is oriented entirely around keeping people from catching the coronavirus.

Sid Shuman, Senior Director, SIE Content Communications, writes that on "the launch of the PlayStation 5 console on November 12 (or November 19, depending on your region)," gamers won't be able to buy the console at brick-and-mortar 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," Shuman writes.

"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," Shuman continues. "Be safe, stay home, and place your order online."

As for those that actually did pre-order the console, they should be able to to still pick up their ordered PS5 at their retailer at their appointment time — another measure to prevent mobs of (potentially unmasked) gamers from mobbing together during a pandemic.

The PS5 comes out in the U.S. on Nov. 12.