UK retailers have warned customers that buying a next-gen console on launch day is unlikely to be possible without a pre-order.
Long lines of customers queuing up for a midnight launch is a common feature at the launch of each new generation of consoles. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced uncertainty for customers without a pre-order.
As reported by Video Games Chronicle (VGC), the UK's leading games retailers have been advising their customers on what to expect ahead of the new lockdown that will be enforced in England from Thursday, November 5.
GAME told one customer on Twitter: "We do not have confirmation that we will have stock on launch day for customers that don't have a pre-order."
Smyths, another major retailer, said that it has fulfilled its pre-order quota for the PlayStation 5, and "we cannot guarantee we will receive more stock before the end of the year."
Speaking to another customer on Twitter, Smyths said that "there may be a limited amount of stock available for general sale after all pre-orders have been fulfilled -- however, we couldn't guarantee this I'm afraid."
From Thursday, all retail stores in England not classified as essential will have to close until at least December 2. However, while they will officially be closed, most games retailers will be offering a collection service for those who have pre-ordered a console.
Smyths has advised its customers that it will only accept card payments for the remaining balance on all pre-order transactions.
Xbox Series X/S will launch in the UK on November 10. The PlayStation 5 launch will follow on November 19.