Your PlayStation allegiance may determine whether you can preorder a PS5

Enlarge / This credit card doesn't exist, but if it did, we're not sure it'd count as "previous interests and PlayStation activities" in terms of jumping the PlayStation 5 pre-order line.Aurich Lawson / Getty Images

Want to be first in line to preorder PlayStation 5? In a rare move for a console's launch, Sony has led the charge by announcing a direct-sales program—one that bypasses typical retail channels—before the upcoming system's price, release date, or other details have been announced.

Starting today, prospective buyers can go to Sony's official preorder site to express their interest in purchasing a PS5. Users only need to enter one piece of information into the form: their PlayStation Network ID. And… that's it.

Before ordering, please answer 27 questions about Nathan Drake…

From there, Sony will determine exactly who will be deigned worthy of a shot at purchasing a PS5, and this will be based on "previous interests and PlayStation activities." Exactly what that information is, and how it will be weighted, is currently unclear. Years of membership? Number of games owned? Whether the account in question pays for subscription services like PlayStation Plus or PlayStation Now, or merely uses a wholly free PSN account? Sony has yet to clarify this point.

If you've been selected as part of Sony's direct pre-order program, you'll find out at some point (currently unknown) via an email sent to the address registered to your PSN account. (Hence, today would be a good day to double-check that address and other PSN profile information.) If you didn't get into Sony's preorder program, you won't receive the bad news in the form of an email or any other notification. And while PSN IDs from all over the world will be eligible for this program, orders will only work if they ship to US addresses. It's unclear whether Sony will roll out similar campaigns for other territories.

With that email, you'll be told the exact time window you have to place an order of a PS5 console, which can either be the standard version (with a disc drive) or the "Digital Version" (no disc drive). Sony has emphasized a limit of one PS5 console per PSN ID. Invited PSN users will also be able to directly order PS5 peripherals with their console, including DualSense controllers, headsets, cameras, media remotes, and controller charging stands. No peripheral bundle will be forced upon buyers in Sony's direct-sales program.

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