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.
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.
Best Buy is currently promising to restock the console on December 15th starting at 8 am Central/9 am Eastern time, though you'll only be able to get your item through curbside pickup.
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.
You might also be able to get the Xbox Series S when Best Buy restocks the console on December 15th at 8 am Central/9 am Eastern time, though you'll have to get your purchase through curbside pickup.
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.
Gamestop advertised via its Twitter account on January 20th that a limited number of PS5 console bundles would be available on its store the following day. A similar offer hit Walmart on the 21st as well.
Best Buy is restocked the Xbox Series X/S on December 15th at 8 am Central/9 am Eastern time through curbside pickup.
Walmart briefly updated its Xbox stock on November 19th, though like with launch day, it quickly sold out.
Units also went up at both Wal-Mart and Best Buy on Black Friday, and were available for in-store purchase at Gamestop.
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.