PS5 launch day orders will be online-only due to COVID-19

In another indication that the good times of yesteryear are gone, Sony have announced that the launch day of the PS5 will be online-only.

While most of us would like to camp outside our local EB Games or JB Hi-Fi since we couldn’t be bothered to pre-order, what was once a sacred ritual will not be happening this year. In a post to PlayStation’s blog, Sony stated that the move to online-only launch day orders was “In the interest of keeping our gamers, retailers, and staff safe amidst COVID-19”.

Retailers will not stock PS5 units for in-store purchases, but pre-orders for pick-up will occur in alignment with their safety protocols. All launch day purchases can only be completed via the online store of whichever retailer you choose to get your PS5 from.

PS5 Size
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The PS5 will launch here in Australia on 12 November. While Australia has practically eliminated local transmission of the deadly virus, caution should still be exercised until a vaccine comes out. Attempting to enforce social distancing and mask-wearing for a console launch day would be almost impossible.

The transmission of COVID-19 is low in most of the other countries that the PS5 launches in on 12 November, with New Zealand and Singapore having virtually eliminated the virus. However, the United States continues to struggle with the virus, with over 90,000 new cases daily and nearly 250,000 total deaths.

Despite this announcement, it is expected that Sony will move a massive number of PS5s on 12 November. The Japanese conglomerate predicts that it will greatly outsell the PS4’s launch total of 7.6 million.

The PS5 is probably the most anticipated video game console in history, with Sony going all-out in its marketing – even employing rapper Travis Scott as a “strategic creative partner”. With the hypebeasts added to the hordes wanting a PS5, an online-only launch day makes sense to ensure the safety of everyone involved.