Buying a PS5 on launch day could be tricky: What you need to know

PS5 Console Side VIew
(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 will be released in two weeks, but for some gamers, the long wait to play the next-gen console could extend far beyond its launch date. 

While not yet officially confirmed, many retailers in North American will reportedly not stock the PS5, PS5 Digital Edition, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S in stores. If true, the only way to purchase the new consoles will be online.

Furthermore, Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony, admitted in an interview with Reuters that “it may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one." He went on to say that demand for the PS5 is "very, very considerable."

More specifically, there were as many PS5 pre-orders in the first 12 hours in the United States as there were PS4 pre-orders in the first 12 weeks of its launch. 

Ryan did say Sony is "working as hard as we ever can" to ensure supply meets demand during this holiday shopping season. 

Either Sony underestimated the demand for its next-gen consoles or the coronavirus threw production off schedule. It could be some combination of both, which could cause heartache to gamers who couldn't snag a PS5 during the botched pre-order period. 

For those who might have missed it, the first wave of PS5 pre-orders was a disaster. When Sony finally revealed the price and release date of the PS5 in a video event, it failed to mention the pre-order period. Shortly after the video, rogue retailers sent pre-orders live, one day before Sony said they would in a tweet. Stock vanished within seconds, forcing Sony to make more consoles available in a second wave, which disappeared just as quickly. 

Our advice to those who haven't ordered a PS5 yet? Check the websites of each major retailer (Amazon, Walmart, Target, GameStop, Best Buy) as we get close to the official launch date for the PS5. We would be refreshing each page at midnight on November 12 in case the consoles go back in stock.

You can also follow our PS5 pre-order page for stock alerts and our PS5 Black Friday deals page for the best deals on games and accessories. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.