The Xbox Series X and S have opened for pre-orders – with demand far outstripping supply.
The rush to buy the new console has led shops to immediately sell out. That is, if they were able to stay online: a variety of online stores broke and refused to load for people looking for the new Xbox over Tuesday, in the hours after the pre-orders began.
The console does not actually arrive until 10 November, but it’s likely that pre-ordering in the coming days will be the only reliable way to ensure that you can get one on that release date.
That has left most shops out of stock in the UK, US and elsewhere. Those that are available both in the US and UK often also require some extra work: they might be available only when bundled with more expensive subscriptions, for instance, or only to specific people.
While the release has without doubt proven less chaotic than that of the PlayStation 5 – Microsoft announced in advanced when exactly the pre-orders would open, meaning there was no last-minute scramble to work out what was going on – it has turned out to be just as frustrating for some, who found themselves unable buy the new console all the same.
But in the coming days, shops are likely to get more stock, and pre-orders could open again – albeit briefly. The rush when they do is likely to be just the same as the first time, meaning that customers will have to be both lucky and smart if they want to get hold of an Xbox Series X.
Checking the websites of any retailers that might be offering the console is likely only to bring up frustration, since they will probably be sold out. But it is still worth doing because many are offering the option to register for emails when stock comes back in, and that may be the quickest way of getting onto a website when orders open again.
For a more co-ordinated view, it’s worth using one of the tools that track availability in a variety of shops. Stock Informer offers that service: you can quickly see all the stock available for the Xbox Series X and Series S in the UK, or the same in the US.
It is also worth staying up to date on sites such as Twitter, where numerous people will send out alerts when the console comes back in stock. The @Wario64 account on Twitter, for instance, has been especially good at sending out notifications of any stores that have stock of the Xbox, as well as other gaming deals including the PS5.
Numerous people are claiming to offer the console for sale on online shopping sites such as eBay. But it is worth avoiding those deals, not least because there is no guarantee that the people actually have the console – it also helps to discourage people from rushing in to take up the pre-orders with no intention of keeping the console for themselves.
Likewise, it is best to be sceptical about anyone who seems to be making the Xbox available too readily, especially if they are not linked to established sites. Any popular product can be used by scammers to lure people in, especially if supply is short and so people are likely to jump at the chance to buy, so be careful about anything that is offering easy access to the new consoles.