Not long after Sony announced it wouldn’t send PlayStation 5 consoles to retail stores for sale on launch day, Best Buy and Walmart took things a little further. Walmart won’t sell PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series S|X on launch day. And Best Buy says it won’t carry either in-store through the 2020 holiday shopping season.
Much like Sony, Walmart, and Best Buy both say the reason for limiting sales to online purchases is to keep customers safe. In the past, launch day for consoles meant large, closely grouped crowds—the exact opposite of what you want in a global pandemic.
The 𝙣𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 of gaming is coming❗ The @Xbox Series X | S will be available only ONLINE on November 10 at 12 PM ET, meaning that you have five days to practice your F5 skills. 😉 pic.twitter.com/qeBqaX8DPE
— Walmart (@Walmart) November 5, 2020
To keep that from happening, the companies will restrict purchases to online only. Walmart says it will it’s only putting the limit in place on November 10. Presumably, stock will reach stores after that. But Best Buy won’t sell the consoles in-store through the 2020 holiday season. If Best Buy is your retail outlet of choice, you’re going to have to order online for the rest of the year. That’s if you can find any in stock at all at either retail outlet.
Both Sony and Microsoft took large amounts of preorders that led to sites crashing and angry people who missed out on nabbing a console. If that describes you, buckle up for another rocky ride. Both sites may likely suffer on launch day too.