PS5 and Xbox Series X pre-orders: How the UK’s lockdown affects next-gen pre-orders

The UK’s month-long lockdown ahead of Christmas encapsulated both next-gen console launches…

by Oliver Barsby

Following the UK government’s announcement of a second lockdown, starting on November 5 and ending on December 2, games retailers are scrambling to work out an improved way to get the next-gen consoles to customers.

The lockdown orders the closure of all ‘non-essential’ stores, including the likes of GAME and Smyths, two of the UK’s most prominent video game retailers. As the next-gen consoles are due to launch within the four-week lockdown, hopes of camping out for an Xbox Series X or PS5 have been quashed.

While this will not impact those who ordered a next-gen console for delivery from the likes of Amazon or GAME’s online store, a large number who ordered instore will be worried about the situation of their pre-orders.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X Fridge: Xbox marketing exec hints at potential ‘mini-fridge’ product!

Here’s what retailers are planning to do for those affected.

Can I pick up my PS5 or Xbox Series X pre-order in lockdown?

Three of the UK’s main gaming retailers – Argos, GAME and Smyths – have each responded to questions about console pre-orders on social media.

As the incoming restrictions permit non-essential retailers “remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect”, those who pre-ordered next-gen consoles may still be able to pick up their purchase, depending on the retailer.

GAME recently tweeted that those who have secured an Xbox Series X pre-order via a deposit will need to “come and pre-purchase your console from now until Wednesday evening.” The retailer followed up by clarifying these individuals “will then be able to collect your console on launch day between 8am-2pm.”

While GAME has not yet announced if these measures will also be in place for the PS5’s pre-orders, we’d expect a similar scheme to run the week after.

Smyths appears to be running a similar scheme with Click & Collect, as they previously implemented during the UK’s first national lockdown in March.

Argos has also clarified that its collection points inside Sainsbury’s and Argos stores will remain open, allowing customers to pick up their pre-orders.

READ MORE: PS5 vs Xbox Series X stats REVEALED: Which console is most-wanted in every country?

Can I still buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X on launch day?

While most next-gen consoles sold out online almost immediately, many prospective customers hoped that they would be able to queue outside physical stores to get their PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Gaming retailers often reserve a small number of products for walk-in customers when they first release, but with an incoming lockdown, it’s currently unclear as to whether any stock will be available for release date purchases, with it likely depending on each specific store and retailer.

READ MORE: PS5 and Xbox Series X both have limited storage: How can I increase my console storage for more games?

Oliver Barsby