Since the PS5's reveal, Sony teased its fans with the vague 'Holiday 2020' release date window. Despite COVID-19 disrupting the manufacturing and distribution of resources needed, Sony remained committed to this date throughout the pandemic.
Following Microsoft's reveal of the Xbox Series X's release date last week, stemming from an Xbox Series S leak, all eyes were on Sony to tell us when we could get our hands on the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition.
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Now, after months of waiting, Sony finally announced the PS5's release date alongside its price. But, for those of you in Europe, Africa, South America or mainland Asia, be warned.
PS5 release rumoured to be brought forward in Europe
With the UK preparing for a second lockdown due to come into force on November 5th, many PlayStation fans expressed their concern about how this would impact the launch of the PS5, due to release in the middle of the month-long national restrictions.
While retailers have since quashed these fears by promising Click & Collect will be available, rumours circulating Reddit allude to a larger impact the lockdown could have on the release date.
According to a rumour first started by a now-deleted Reddit post, the PS5's release date could be moved forward to November 12th - in line with the next-gen console's launch in the US and Japan. The post said that the user had been told by a GAME employee that "Sony have told us to stop taking prepayments as they may be bringing the date closer or delaying release due to UK, France and Germany all going into lockdown."
However, it's worth taking this with a pinch of salt as GAME has confirmed the next-gen consoles will still be available on their respective release dates.
Elsewhere, the German site PlayFront is also reporting that the retailer MediaMarkt has sent automated emails out to customers reporting that shipping will begin on November 12th, although this could easily be in reference to the PS5 games or accessories that will release before the actual console.
So should we believe these rumours? Probably not.
The justification of moving the release forward because of various COVID-19 lockdowns makes very little sense, considering the UK will also be in lockdown on November 12. As orders that are set to be delivered on November 19 remain unaffected by a lockdown and, in the context of physical pre-orders, make up a much more significant number of the UK's allocated consoles, the changing of the console's release date would be an unnecessary logistical nightmare.
So while it would certainly be a welcomed move to bring forward Europe's release date, it looks unlikely...
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PS5 Release Date confirmed - and its bad news for Europe...
In the recent PS5 event, Sony announced that the PS5 would release on November 12, 2020, in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea - two days after the Xbox Series X's launch.
Customers in the Rest of the World will have to wait until a week later on November 19, 2020, to get ahold of their PlayStation 5. The console's release date in China is still not confirmed, however, as Sony stated that the release date is "still under exploration" and will be announced at a later date.
While we cannot be sure as to the reason for this staggered release, we'd speculate that this stems from distributional issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
PlayStation previously assured shareholders and stakeholders of the launch of its upcoming console, with Eric Lempel stating in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that "We will launch this year - that will happen."
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Why did Sony take so long to reveal the PS5's release date?
Speaking to VGC, Gamer Network's Head of B2B, Christopher Dring, explained the reason why both Sony and Microsoft have been reluctant to announce the official release dates of their consoles prior to their announcements.
"Companies are waiting until they can be as sure as they can about what they can deliver to consumers," stated Dring. "It’s a complicated time, and you would typically place a strong bet on PS5 arriving somewhere in the middle of November. But things can change very quickly."
Given the global fear of a COVID-19 second wave, Sony is likely reluctant to announce this date until they know for sure that it won't be disrupted by shipping problems or the closure of retail outlets.
They are also likely waiting on confirmation of if their launch titles, which include Spider-Man: Miles Moralesand Demon's Souls, will be ready in time. As we approach the final stretch of 2020, it's worth keeping an eye out for games 'going gold', as this means they are ready for manufacturing and distribution ahead of launch.
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PS5 pre-order UK: How to buy the PS5 in the UK
The recent event confirmed the PS5's pre-order date to be September 17, but some retailers in the UK opened their orders earlier, late on September 16.
Indeed, many retailers now show that the PS5 is out-of-stock, with GAME confirming on Twitter it has sold its allocated stock of consoles.
Amazon UK opened pre-orders for the PS5, PS5 Digital Edition, and DualSense controller, which you can check out via these links:
However, given the fluidity of this pre-order situation, it's likely that when you click on these links, it might say the next-gen console is 'Currently Unavailable' as the retailer restocks.
Instead, you might now have to wait until after the PS5's release to get your console if you haven't already pre-ordered.
READ MORE: Sony shoots down PS5 stock shortage rumour!
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