Best Buy won't sell next-gen consoles in-store this year

All of Walmart's launch day stock will only be available online as well.

Jessica Conditt / Engadget

Following Sony’s announcement earlier today that the PlayStation 5 will only be available to buy online on launch day, Best Buy and Walmart say they likewise plan to restrict in-store sales of next-gen consoles. At Walmart, the only way you’ll be able to buy the Xbox Series X and Series S on November 10th and PS5 on November 12th is through the retailer’s website. Best Buy, meanwhile, says it won’t carry Xbox Series X/S and PS5 in-store stock on launch and through the 2020 holiday shopping season. We’ve reached out to Walmart to find out if it has a similar plan in place, and we’ll update this article when we hear back from the company.

Best Buy will sell new units through its website “as soon as we have them available.” Provided you can secure an order, you’ll still have the option to pick it up at your local store. Likewise, those who pre-ordered a PS5, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S can pick up their new console at their local Best Buy, either when it opens at 9AM local time or at a scheduled appointment time.

The absence of in-store availability is likely to make it near impossible for some people to get a new console this year. At the same time, it’s an understandable decision. With states across the US going through second COVID-19 waves, both Best Buy and Walmart likely want to avoid a situation in which people camp outside their stores.

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