Trying to buy PS5 at launch? Sony just shared bad news

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

When the PS5 launches on November 12 in the U.S. and November 19 in the U.K., you might struggle to get hold of one, as the number of PS5 pre-orders has been so large.

Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO, told Reuters that people looking to buy a PS5 on its launch day could be disappointed as a result.  “The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been very, very considerable,” Ryan said. “It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one.” 

So if you haven’t secured a pre-order but thought you might have better luck on launch day, either in physical stores or with online retailers, you might end up being disappointed. 

With more launch games delayed, you might wonder why the PS5 has proved to be hugely popular already; it took just 12 hours to sell as many PS5 pre-orders as Sony sold PS4 consoles in its first 12 weeks. One simple answer to that is that Sony has a huge amount of PlayStation fans to take over from the PS4 to its next-generation console. 

As of August 2020, the PS4 has sold 113 million consoles worldwide, so if even a quarter of those customers were to buy a PS5 at launch, Sony would shift 25 million consoles. There may be some people that decide to get the more powerful Xbox Series X over the PS5, or even opt for the cheaper $299 Xbox Series S, but Sony will still have a huge PS4 user base that’ll likely look to move to the PS5. 

And when you consider there'll be exclusive games like Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7, it’s no surprise the PS5 is set to be a popular next-gen games console even with the competition it faces. 

We’ve gone hands-on with the PS5 and rather like it, despite its controversial size and design. We’ll need to see how it measures up against the Xbox Series X in actual day-to-day use before we can tell you which console to go for, so stay tuned for our continuing next-gen coverage as November 12 approaches. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.