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PlayStation 5 Likely Won’t be Available to Buy in Stores in 2020 Due to COVID-19

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The PlayStation 5 is going to be hard to come by when it launches in November, with the vast majority of units going to the lucky few who have managed to score a pre-order, but perhaps you’re still holding out hope that you’ll be able to lineup outside your local game store and grab a console on launch day? Well, you may want to give up on those dreams right now.

In addition to stock being in perilously short supply, according to a new report from Norwegian site Gamer.no, Sony is pressuring retailers not to stock or sell any PS5s in-store in 2020. Any additional PS5 units made available will instead only be sold online for delivery or in-store pickup.

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The reason for the lack of in-store PS5 sales is exactly the one you’d expect – Sony doesn’t want to be seen as aiding in the spread of COVID-19 when images of people queuing up for consoles hits the news. According to Gamer.no, Sony has made it clear to retailers that they may be punished with less stock in the future if they sell PS5s are their physical stores.

Now, this report only covers Norway, but there are rumors that this is, at the very least, a European-wide directive. Of course, Sony’s approach may differ from region to region, and some retailers may decide not to heed the publisher’s advice. That said, at this point, you should probably assume in-store PS5 sales aren’t going to be happening this year, regardless of where you live. Update: We have first confirmation a North American retailer (Best Buy Canada) also won't be selling next-gen consoles in store...

Original story continues: Given the second wave of COVID cases we’re seeing around the world right now, it’s the smart, conscientious move, and I’m not sure there’s going to be much additional PS5 stock for retailers to sell anyways.

The PlayStation 5 will be available on November 10 or November 19 depending on whether you live in North America/Australia or Europe. You can check out some new PS5 unboxing videos here.

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