Walmart Changes In-Person PS5 Preorder Plans, Cites Social Distancing Concerns

There is a reason why you may be having a hard time preordering a PlayStation 5 from Walmart.


PlayStation 5 preorders popped up earlier than anticipated this week, and lots of people began running into difficulties getting one from retailers like Walmart. Walmart, which previously said PS5 preorders would be available physically in its stores September 22, quickly announced a change in plans. If you want to get the PS5 at Walmart and haven't preordered it online, you're going to have to beat the rush of people hoping for a system that hasn't been reserved on launch day.

Though online preorders at the retailer started yesterday, the new way for gamers to get their hands on a PlayStation 5 in time for its November 12 launch date from Walmart is to wait until the console actually releases. Previously, Walmart planned to take PS5 preorders, with people able to choose between the Digital and Standard editions. Now, Walmart's site states the PlayStation 5 is "coming soon," with no option to preorder available. We've seen it come back in stock intermittently, so there is still a chance you'll be able to snag an online order.

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The change was likely put in place to follow CDC guidelines on maintaining social distance during the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as to keep steady control over in-store traffic. Considering how fast preorders have been selling out, encouraging people to do so in-store could easily lead to overcrowding.

"Walmart has decided not to proceed with the planned store preorder to control store traffic and keep our customers safe and socially distanced," a company spokesperson told GameSpot over email. "Customers can still get the console on November 12 when it's released. Apologies for any confusion."

Walmart has since hit another snag, with emails going out to several who preordered erroneously alerting consumers to wild price drops. One such price match even reduced the purported price to $20 for a brand-new PS5 console. Obviously we don't expect that error to last, but it's added to a sense of confusion about Walmart's preorder situation.

PlayStation later apologized for its messy preorder launch. It stressed that retailers would have more allotment for preorders in the coming days and there would be more chances to buy a PS5 through the remainder of the year. This will likely include Walmart, albeit for online shipping orders. Other retailers, such as GameStop, are offering in-store preorders.

The PlayStation 5 retails for $400 for the Digital edition and $500 for the Standard edition when it arrives November 12. We've rounded up everything you need to know about Sony's upcoming next gen system, including where to preorder and what its launch games are.

The Xbox Series X and Series S, meanwhile, release on November 10. You'll be able to preorder the systems from September 22.

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