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The Intriguing Way Sony Is Celebrating The PS5 Launch

The PlayStation 5's Nov. 12 launch will not be accompanied by the sort of in-store events that typically coincide with major console releases as a result of the ongoing pandemic. In Japan, however, Sony is still celebrating the PS5 (via Kotaku), albeit in an unconventional manner befitting the unconventional global moment in which it's debuting. Until midnight on Nov. 12, visitors to Kanda Shrine in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo will find the grounds decorated with PS5-themed lights and projections commemorating the console's launch.

Kanda Shrine is located in close proximity to Akihabara, a neighborhood also in the Chiyoda ward famous for its numerous electronics shops. As a result of this closeness, Kanda Shrine has become a place at which worshippers often request blessings for anything technology-related. Such requests could be to avoid losing a smart phone, to prevent viruses from infecting an operating system, or to ensure the success of a tech company.

The centerpiece of Sony's celebration is a large projection on the pathway leading up to the shrine that displays a series of PS5 animations. Two screens located on either side of the pathway mirror this central projection. The shrine itself is also lit up in the shade of blue that has been the signature color of Sony's flagship consoles since the PS2 era. Additionally, cubes displaying the PS5's logo line the border of the central pathway. A video of the celebration has been shared by @Kanda_omiyage, a Twitter account dedicated to Kanda Shrine.

In addition to not commemorating the PS5's release with in-store events, Sony also decided against selling PS5 consoles in stores. While some retailers offer in-store pickup as a delivery method for pre-orders, Sony has explicitly stated that anyone looking to purchase a console on the day of its launch can only do so online. Those hoping to dive into the PS5'S numerous exclusives right away will have to compete with everyone else refreshing retailer websites on release day. While this negates the prospect of Akihabara shoppers visiting the decked-out shrine with a new PS5 in-hand, those lucky enough to procure a console may nevertheless have them blessed.

Sony's choice of event ultimately accommodates social distancing thanks to both its outdoor location and large window for visitors. With no endpoint in sight for the ongoing global pandemic, the PS5's Tokyo release event presents a model that can potentially be followed by future corporate celebrations looking to ensure participants' safety while building an appropriate level of bombast.