The Xbox Series X and Series S are finally out, but if you didn’t pre-order Microsoft’s newest console, it might be a while until stock is plentiful enough for you to actually get a chance to buy one. That’s a shame, because we were impressed by the amount of choice packed into the Series X when we reviewed it, and we’d love to see that mentality extend to people who’d prefer not to pre-order and instead wait to read reviews.
Still, not being able to buy these consoles now might not be too much of a problem. There’s a strong argument to be had for waiting until next year to buy a next-gen console, since launch game lineups are looking slim this time around. If that’s the route you decide to go, it’d be smart to research the best places to buy ahead of time, as well as which of the two consoles you’d prefer.
Black Friday Stock
Microsoft's latest consoles released so recently that there likely won't be any sales on them quite yet, but at this point, a store just having stock of either the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S feels like a sale.
Walmart's been a bit clever with new console releases, and has held back Xbox Series X and Series S stock for special occasions like Black Friday. It's promising to have units up for purchase on its website starting at 9 p.m. EST on November 25th.
Best Buy has also posted a Black Friday ad that suggests it will have the Xbox Series X and Series S up for purchase on Black Friday, though there's no indication as to a specific time when the units will go live.
GameStop is promising a limited stock of at least 2 Xbox Series X units per store on Black Friday, which will be available at all of its locations. These will only be offered as in-store purchases, and each customer will be limited to one console.
We don't have stock confirmation for other retailers like Amazon or Target yet, so read below to see how to best buy a console from other stores.
Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s new flagship console, and is selling for $499. It’s got a custom 8-core Zen 2 CPU and 12 teraflop RDNA 2 GPU, with upper limits of 4K/120 Hz in certain games. This is the new top-of-the-line for the Xbox, and is what you’ll want to buy if you’re a diehard fan.
As with most major tech releases in recent memory, official retailers were sold out across the board at launch, and largely remain so now. Walmart and B&H are also the only retailers currently offering the opportunity to sign up for stock alert notifications, though other sites do let you add the Series X to a wishlist.
If you absolutely can’t wait and don’t mind supporting scalpers, you can also buy the Xbox Series X aftermarket. eBay sellers seem to have two different approaches here, with some listings going up before the seller has received their pre-order and others claiming to already have the console in hand. Listings with the console in hand will likely ship more quickly, but they also tend to be more expensive. Right now, you can expect the mark-up to be between $50 - $100 depending on which listing you’re looking at.
There’s also stockX, which is primarily a sneaker selling site. The markup here is much higher, though, with listings starting at $725.
Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s new budget console, with an official price of $299. It’s got weaker specs than the Xbox Series X, but aims to play all the same games at 1440p as opposed to 4K. It’s also all-digital. If you don’t need the top-of-the-line or just want something to play Game Pass games on in the living room, it’s a solid bet.
Unfortunately, just like with the Xbox Series X, every official retailer is also sold out of the Series S, barring special occasions like scheduled restocks. Walmart and B&H are the only retailers currently offering the opportunity to sign up for stock alert notifications, and Target’s listing isn’t even up. All the other major options will let you add the console to a wishlist, though.
Aftermarket sellers are also an option here, if you must have the Series S soon. eBay markups are currently hovering between $30 - $70 depending on whether the seller has the console in hand or just has proof of a pre-order. The in-hand consoles tend to be more expensive, though you can also probably expect them to ship sooner.
There’s also stockX, which primarily sells sneakers but has seen consumer tech listings popping up as of late. The markup here is somewhat higher than eBay, with listings starting at $398.
Walmart briefly updated its Xbox stock on November 19th, though like with launch day, it quickly sold out. We'll keep you updated as we learn more, but in the meantime, it's not a bad idea to follow social media accounts like @Wario64 for up-to-the-minute updates.