UPDATE, 11/13, 9:47am: PS5 stock has come and gone at Target on launch day (November 12). Your next best bet is likely Black Friday, but we recommend bookmarking Target's PS5 page and checking back frequently.
It’s a tough time to find a PS5, but there’s a little hope on the horizon. While pre-orders of Sony’s next console have been sold out for weeks, we still expected to see some consoles on store shelves come launch day.
Now, we have confirmation — at least from Target. If you want to brave the hungry crowds come November 12, you may able to find a PS5. However, if past console launches are any indication, stock will be limited, so use your discretion.
- Check out our full PS5 review
- Mass Effect 5: Everything we know so far
- Just in: This PS5 feature eats up your storage — how to turn it off
Information comes from the official Target Twitter account. A user called @packbeater (in a since-deleted tweet) asked when the popular retailer would have PS5s available to sell. The response was straightforward enough: “Available 11/12/2020 in-store.”
Yes, Available 11/12/2020 in-store.October 13, 2020
Additional responses further down the thread provided more clarity. While consoles will be available in-store, customers won’t simply be able to waltz in and pick one up. Instead, they’ll have to buy the console online, then choose in-store pickup.
It’s not clear whether Target will sell additional consoles for home delivery, but it doesn’t seem out of the question. Either way, the company can’t confirm a time for when the consoles will go on sale, so if you want one, your best bet is to just boot up the page on Thursday morning and refresh it frequently.
There is a little good news for intrepid shelf-hunters, but only a little: Once the initial wave of orders dies down, Target will sell any leftover consoles directly on its shelves, no online order required. If history is any indication, this probably won’t happen until mid-December or even late January, but it’s probably good to know once the holidays get closer. If you absolutely, positively can’t find a PS5 online, you can always duck into a Target and hope for the best.
Speaking as someone who has done the console launch dance many times, though, it’s not really worth your time to hunt obsessively for a system on launch day. The best-case scenario is that you find one after a lot of stress; the worst-case scenario is that you go home defeated and exhausted. If you have a PS4, you’ll be able to play the vast majority of PS5 launch titles anyway — and if you don’t, a lot of the fall’s biggest releases will also be available on Xbox One and PC. Come January, the PS5 will probably be much easier to find, and you can pick one up at your leisure — no obsessively refreshing websites or trudging through empty electronics sections required.
Still, if you want a PS5 and have a Target nearby, it couldn’t hurt to open up the Target website on November 12, refresh it a few times, and see what you get. The odds aren’t great, but someone’s going to succeed; why not you?
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Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.