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(Pocket-lint) - Getting a PlayStation 5 has been a great trial for many people over the last six months, taking on almost mythical qualities as millions of people fight to get their hands on Sony's next-gen offering. 

Prospective customers in the United States, though, have had an avenue open to them which most of the world hasn't been able to emulate - PlayStation Direct, Sony's direct-to-customer online storefront. It's been selling PS5s in waves this whole time, using access codes and the dreaded queues we're all used to. 

The store was set up in late 2019, and now looks set to spread outside of the US, with Sony making good on a plan to expand. An investor event this week clarified its plans and confirmed that PlayStation Direct is planned for Europe in the next financial year, which ends in March 2022. 

According to Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment's CEO, during the presentation, the aim is to double down on the US PlayStation Direct's growth: "We plan for 300 percent further growth within this fiscal year, helped by our upcoming launch in Europe."

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Exactly when that launch will come isn't clear at the moment, and consumers shouldn't expect a silver bullet when it comes to PS5 availability. The shortage of consoles looks like it isn't easing up much, so while a new way to buy one is useful, it won't necessarily make doing so a trivial matter. 

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 27 May 2021.