(Pocket-lint) - Sony has posted a short update to let the world know that come launch day for the PlayStation 5, whether that's 12 November or 19 November depending on your location, the console will only be available to purchase online.
If you haven't got a pre-order secured, that means there's no point planning to queue up or head to a store to see if they've got stock - you'll only be able to secure a unit online, regardless of how you arrange delivery or pick-up.
It's an interesting change that could be down to several factors, although Sony's tight-lipped on which were key in reality. On the one hand, there's clearly a shortage of stock as a result of soaring demand, and there's no good to come out of people going to shops and finding no consoles to buy.
Equally, much of the world is still firmly gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, and unable to easily and safely shop in person, which would make a launch day scramble seem rather unwise. If you're like us, in the UK, shopping in person other than to pick-up an order already purchased would anyway be contravening lockdown regulations.
Sony does say "Be safe, stay home, and place your order online." in its post, indicating that the pandemic is likely the major cause here, and that's only sensible.
Still, in areas where lockdowns aren't in place, this could cause some ire - the online shopping experience for PS5s so far has hardly been smooth, after all. Whether this means that more stock will become available on launch day is anyone's guess for now.