As most UK-based HEXUS readers will be well aware, Lockdown 2 is expected to begin on Thursday, 5th November. The restricted public movement period is set to run until at least Wednesday, 2nd December. This period encompasses the release dates of the highly anticipated next gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony. To jog your memory; the UK Xbox Series X/S release date is 10th Nov, the PlayStation 5 arrives on 19th Nov.
Despite the popularity of online shopping, and the fact that delivery services should be running as normal, some people have pre-ordered the new consoles from high street stores and aimed to pick the hardware up on release day. Of course such folk are concerned about the status of their orders after this sudden change of course by the government.
Today a number of UK high street retailers have been seeking to clear up how, where, and when customers can get their hands on their new consoles. At the time of writing most of the communications are specifically about the Xbox Series X/S as it is the first major hardware release they will have to deal with during lockdown.
On Sunday, GAME UK Tweeted a statement saying that people can come to stores to pre-purchase between now and Wednesday evening. Then they will be able to come and collect on launch day between 8am and 2pm. It later stressed visitors on release day must have an in-store pre-order/deposit for Xbox Series S/X.
GAME is a partner for Microsoft's Xbox All Access customers. It says that customers will be contacted about pick up arrangements later today.
The other UK Xbox All Access subscription partner, Smyths Toys, is asking customers to come and pick up pre-orders from store as and when they receive an email saying their purchase is ready to collect. Once at the store you will have to pay by card.
Moving on to another popular high street and online games hardware seller that isn't a supermarket, Argos responded to a general lockdown enquiry on yesterday by saying that "You will still be able to have products delivered to your home and pick up products at Argos stores and collection points inside Sainsbury’s". On the topic of supermarkets some are expected to have some stocks coming in on launch date that aren't part of the pre-order allocation. In late October Tesco said that you might be able to find stock if you go after midnight on launch day eve and ask warehouse staff.
New rules highlights
Looking at the government web page dedicated to Lockdown 2, it includes the following key statements with regard to shopping: Under the heading of 'Stay at home' it says "shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible". Later in a section addressing businesses and venues it asserts "all non-essential retail" will be ordered to close but "food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open". Lastly, and importantly to the keen next-gen console enthusiasts, "non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect".