This holiday season there's a chance you or someone you know wants to know how to buy an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. Unfortunately, these game consoles are hard to find, and even Microsoft expects next-gen consoles to remain supply-constrained until next year. That doesn't mean you can't find one for yourself, though. With a little patience, you can end up coming home with a new Xbox.
(We do hope our guide helps, but OnMSFT can't 100% guarantee you end up with a new console and we can't be held liable for your frustrations.)
Option 1: Check Stock Informer
Most people might bookmark retail listings for the Xbox Series X and Series S and hope to catch a restock at the right time. This isn't always guaranteed to work, though. That's why we suggest using a website like Stock Informer to help. Stock Informer constantly checks for console stock across the major retailers and lets you know when there's some available. You also can input your email for email alerts when console online stock is found.
If Stock Informer isn't working for you, then there's also an alternative. You can also use nowinstock.net. Just click the Microsoft Xbox Series X and Microsoft Xbox Series S console logos and check through the stock history. You can see when and at what times the retailer restocked, so you'll know when to visit that website, log in and check out.
Other places worth checking out for Xbox stock updates include PopFindr, which checks physical retail stores like Walmart for in-person stock. There's also CheapAssGamer and Reddit which are forums where people talk about console availability.
Based on what we're seeing, it seems as though retailers release console stock at midnight ET on certain days. Sometimes, it's also 7 AM ET or 12PM midday around lunchtime. Times vary by retailers, but it's worth mentioning, nonetheless.
Option 2: Use Social Media
Twitter is quite a powerful platform if you're looking to buy an Xbox Series X or Series S. There are accounts dedicated to console availability. These accounts work just like Stock Informer and Nowinstock.net and the folks behind the accounts have sources who know when there's stock available or if there's a deal. You can enable tweet notifications for these accounts by first following the account, and then clicking the bell icon next to the following button. This ensures you don't miss a tweet about availability!
We do have a warning though. DO NOT reply to ANYONE on Twitter who offers you an Xbox Series X or Series S. These are more than likely scammers, who will never send you a console and leave you without anything in your hands after you send them money. Stick to the accounts we're mentioning below.
We suggest following Wario64. The account has over 1 million followers and is known to tweet out console availability. Another good account to follow is GYXdeals. This account is similar to Wario64 and constantly tweets out stock updates on consoles. Finally, we suggest following Matt Swider on Twitter. He is the founder and editor in chief of TheShortcut.com, and usually sends out availability tweets about consoles and other hard-to-find tech items. There have been many success stories from Matt's Twitter, so be sure to check it out!
Option 3: Consider buying console bundles or use Xbox All Access
The standalone versions of Xbox Series X and S consoles might be hard to find, but it's also worth checking out retailers that might be offering bundles with games and controllers included. One of these is the Halo Infinite bundle.
Other than bundles, you might want to consider buying an Xbox Series X or S through Microsoft's Xbox All Access Program. This lets you pay for an Xbox from Microsoft or select retailers starting at $24.99/mo. for 24 months. It even includes 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The Xbox Series S version is $25 a month for 24 months, and the Xbox Series X version is $35 a month for 24 months.
Option 4: Check wholesale retailers
To end, we'll mention that you probably might have a high chance of buying an Xbox Series X or S through wholesale retailers like Costco, Sam's Club, or BJ's. We say this because these retailers mandate you to pay a subscription fee to enter the stores or shop online. This can increase the chances of finding a console as not everyone is a member. Of course, be sure to follow social distancing guidelines in physical stores, and wear a mask at all times to keep yourself and everyone else safe.
The Xbox Series S and Series X are Microsoft's latest consoles, but if you're having trouble finding these systems, don't fret. The last generation Xbox, the Xbox One X, or the Xbox One S are still powerful consoles. You might not be getting the best possible and latest features, but it's still a great system.
Not to forget, Microsoft is testing project native xCloud game streaming on Xbox One. You can currently stream next-gen games through the internet via the Edge web browser with Game Pass Ultimate. And, native integration is on the way soon, without the need for Edge.
We also want to mention that you should NEVER pay scalpers for a console. These are the reasons that the systems are hard to find. Scalpers buy up the Xbox Series X and Series S in bulk and try to profit by selling it for up to $200-$300 more than retail. You'll find these all over eBay, so be careful when you buy!