The next generation consoles are almost here, but with the United States, and much of the rest of the world, still in the throws of the COVID-19 pandemic, buying the consoles in person is something some folks might have concerns about. To account for this, Best Buy has announced that it will not be selling the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in its stores this holiday season. Instead the next-gen consoles will only be available online.
According to the company’s announcement on Thursday, both consoles will be available on BestBuy.com to pre-order and purchase, however neither console will be sold at physical stores. This announcement comes the same day that Sony announced that it doesn’t plan to put any PlayStation 5 consoles in physical stores, at least at launch.
Anyone that buys a console online will still have the option to pick it up however they want. Best Buy is offering in-store pickup, and contact-less curbside pickup as well. For anyone that wants to pick up their pre-ordered consoles in the store on launch day, Best Buy will have stores opening early at 9 a.m. local time. Best Buy will also have customers schedule pickup times so that they can avoid creating crowds that are too big at any one location.
On top of that, the stores will also feature some of the now-familiar COVID safety measures. These will include required face coverings, social distancing, and a laundry list of safety precautions for employees, including daily wellness checks, personal protective equipment, and regular cleaning.
One thing that isn’t made clear from Best Buy’s announcement is when exactly the company will start putting the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 into stores. The announcement itself says that the consoles will be available online-only “throughout the holiday season,” but it’s unclear if that means that they won’t have any in stores until 2021 or not.
Players that have pre-ordered the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 should be getting emails from Best Buy in the near future to schedule launch-day pickup on Nov. 10 and Nov. 12, respectively.