The IGN deals team is constantly monitoring stock of the new consoles at all the major retailers. In the time since the new devices have been on the market, we’ve learned a lot about what works when it comes to successfully adding them to your cart and making it through checkout. And, dear reader, we’re going to impart this wisdom on you.
Oh, and if you’re looking for discounts, check out our full list of the best Xbox deals, which covers sales on games, consoles, accessories, and more.
Where to Buy Xbox Series X
Where to Buy Xbox Series S
It’s no surprise that Microsoft’s new-generation consoles are tough to find. With many people upgrading to new TVs, they want a console that can make full use of the newest features. Xbox Series X is geared toward 4K TVs, while the Series S is optimized for 1440p output. But either console brings great new features like Smart Delivery (seamless upgrade to the next-gen version of games), 120 frames-per-second gameplay, and zippy loading speeds.
The first thing you need are the retailer links for the new hardware. But if you click them at any random time, chances are minuscule that you’ll find them in stock. How do you know when they come into stock?
Follow Xbox Series X|S Trackers on Twitter
While some retailers announce ahead of time when they have incoming Xbox stock, others just like to surprise people. In either case, your best bet for knowing when Xbox Series X and Series S are in stock is by following a Twitter account that tracks such things. If you really want a new console, you can also turn on notifications for when they tweet. Here are some accounts to follow to know when new stock is available:
Tips for Getting an Xbox Series X or S
On all the devices you might use to try to purchase a next-gen console, make sure you’re signed on all the major retailer sites. It’s also wise to keep your credit card on file so you don’t have to mess with entering your details while the clock ticks down while you try to check out.
Speaking of retailers, each of the major retailers has its own quirks for dealing with Xbox Series X and S when it comes back into stock. Here’s what to expect from each one.
Amazon is all about surprise. The online retailer never announces when new Xbox stock will arrive and be available. When new consoles come in, Amazon just switches its “Sold Out” button to “Add to Cart,” and whoever happens to see it in time can try adding it to their cart. Your best bet here is to follow IGN Deals or another Twitter account dedicated to such things.
Best Buy also tends to get new stock out of the blue. When it does, here’s how it works: you press the button to add the Xbox Series X or S to your cart. If you’re lucky, you’ll go straight through to checkout. If you’re not so lucky, the “Add to Cart” button will turn gray and after a couple of minutes it will turn yellow again, and you’ll have to tap the button again. Then the game starts over: the lucky few will go through to checkout, while the rest will have to wait until the button turns yellow again to try once more until all stock has sold through.
GameStop tends to announce it will have new Xbox stock ahead of it going live on the site. And in addition to standalone Xboxes, it also offers bundles that include a new Xbox Series X or S, plus games, controllers, etc.
The bundling thing is something of a double-edged sword. If you’re lucky enough to get a bundle of items you would have bought anyway it’s no problem. But if the only Xbox you can manage to get is one that’s bundled with items you don’t want, it’s not so nice.
Walmart is actually the best of all the retailers when it comes to announcing upcoming Xbox stock before it goes live. Sometimes the retailer lets you know a day or several days in advance. They even say exactly when to expect new stock to arrive, usually either at 11:30 a.m. PT or 12 p.m. PT of the day it’s set to happen. Also unusual is that Walmart releases its stock in batches. Each batch sells out in a matter of minutes, but a new batch gets released 10 minutes later until all the stock is gone.
On the plus side, this gives you a number of opportunities to try to get an Xbox at Walmart. It also gives you a chance to get one even if you don’t visit the site right at the moment they go live the first time. But on the downside, if you don’t manage to snag one all afternoon, it can be a big waste of time, and it can feel extra demoralizing.
When Will Xbox Series X and S Be Readily Available?
That’s the big question isn’t it? When can you expect to visit a retailer either online or in person and find plenty of stock of Xbox Series X and S? Both Sony and Microsoft have said they expect supply constraints on semiconductors to prevent them from shipping as many next-gen systems as they’d hoped at least through the first half of 2021, and potentially beyond.
Where to Buy Xbox Series Accessories
You can count on it: along with a new console generation comes a new line of accessories. Microsoft and third parties have introduced an improved controller, a new wireless headset, and a few other items. That said, in keeping with Microsoft’s efforts to smooth the transition between console generations, all (or nearly all) Xbox One peripherals are also fully compatible with the Series X and S.
Chris Reed is a commerce editor and deals expert at IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.