Sony’s upcoming new console, the PlayStation 5, will be retailed strictly online this year in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic.
The PS5 launches Nov. 12 in North America and Nov. 19 in the U.K. This is the first time a PlayStation console has launched exclusively online. Sony said its “retail partners” will handle sales — which includes GameStop, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Amazon.
Sony urged players in a Nov. 5 announcement to stay away from retail locations during launch week. New COVID-19 cases topped 100,000 in the U.S. on Wednesday, the highest number recorded since the pandemic started.
“No units will be available in-store for purchase on launch day — 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 wrote.
There’s a slight exception to the no in-store shopping rule this year — players who bought a console in advance for in-store pickup “should still be able to do so at their designated appointment time, under the retailer’s safety protocols,” Sony said, and asked buyers confirm that their local retailer will be available for in-store pickups before arriving.
Sony will soon release two versions on the console: the PlayStation 5, which retails for $499.99 and plays physical hardware, and a less expensive PlayStation 5 digital edition, which will retail for $399.99. Extra storage will cost players more, but extended storage is a must for gamers who enjoy playing several large titles at once or don’t want all their games clogging the console’s cramped internal hard drive. Sony confirmed earlier this year that the PS5 will support extended USB drive storage from third-party manufacturers.