Best Buy won’t let you buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X in stores until 2021

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If you haven’t already done so in the lead-up to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S, it’s time to toss aside what you’ve come to expect from a new console launch. This one’s going to feel different. Sony today confirmed that its retail partners will only be taking online orders when the console goes on sale next week on November 12th, and now Best Buy is saying that it won’t be making any of the next-gen consoles available to walk-in customers for the entirety of the holiday season. It’s buy online or nothing.

“While our stores won’t have devices for purchase on launch day or throughout the holiday season, keep an eye on, where they’ll be available for purchase as soon as we have them available,” Best Buy’s Katie Huggins wrote in a blog post. “This means there’s no need to camp out at your local store, just check back on without leaving home!” Sony also strongly discouraged eager gamers from lining up outside stores, since the effort would be completely wasted — and could present a heightened COVID-19 risk amid the ongoing pandemic.

Best Buy makes clear that customers will absolutely be able to order a PS5, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S either online or with the Best Buy mobile app for in-store pickup (or contactless curbside service) at their local store. But you won’t be able to just walk into your go-to Best Buy and check out with one of the consoles until 2021 at the earliest.

Best Buy stores are all opening at 9AM local time for the console launches, and preorder customers have been able to reserve special pickup appointments as early as 6AM in some areas to avoid crowds.

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