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 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.
We'll list the stores where you're most likely to find either of the new Xbox consoles below, although most online stock these days comes in the form of small batch drops that sell out quickly. For up to the minute updates on those, follow our Techradar colleague Matt Swider over on Twitter.
In-store stock drops haven't happened at major, non-club retailers yet in 2021, but Best Buy recently confirmed that it will be holding an in-store console purchase event on September 23rd.
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.
If you absolutely can’t wait, you can also buy the Xbox Series X aftermarket. We don't necessarily support this, but keeping track of reseller markups is a good way to follow demand. 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 around $600.
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.
Aftermarket sellers are also an option here, so even if you don't want to support them, you can look at their markups to keep track of demand. 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 around $400.