Sony has explained that they’re prioritizing online orders over offering additional stock to retailers due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, there is little hope of any orders in retailers for the console being available unless a pre-order is already in place.
Orders for additional stock that can be sold on the console’s release dates are only going to be offered through Sony’s online store, and the company’s retail partners.
The company did say that any consumers who have a pre-order for a local pick-up from a store are likely to have their orders fulfilled. These orders are based on stock allocation that has already been sent. It’s the following orders that Sony says will be purely based online.
Sony’s Senior Director for Content Communications, Sid Shuman, has stressed that there is no point in camping out at local stores in the hopes of getting a console without a pre-order. This simply won’t be possible due to the way stock is being controlled and distributed.
Shuman added that consumers should be safe, and stay at home. This comes as many countries around the globe enter a second national lockdown, including the UK. In these regions, non-essential shopping trips are prohibited, meaning that people may only leave the house when they absolutely have to.
UK retailers have already warned consumers that they won’t have stock available outside of pre-orders that have been made for the PlayStation 5 specifically. They advise all consumers to get their pre-orders on when they can. Otherwise, they’ll need to wait for a later date, or order online.
This is a responsible move from Sony. While many consumers will have been looking forward to attending a midnight console launch, most people would probably rather stay at home and avoid coming into close contact with others. It would be impossible for a small store such as GAME outlet to monitor the hundreds of people who would turn up for the launch. Hopefully for their sake most consumers get the message about ordering online.