Six months after the launch of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s next-gen console continues to elude customers. Supplies are scarce across the world, and as replenishments arrive with increasing regularity, consoles are being picked up almost as quickly as they appear. Right now, the Xbox Series X is sold out across the board.
Microsoft isn’t the only company with a supply chain problem. Rival Sony is also facing a shortage of its PlayStation 5 console, with delays blamed on everything from organized scalpers stockpiling machines to resell for profit, to semiconductor shortages causing bottlenecks in the industry. production of electronics worldwide, just because the two new consoles are in high demand.
Don’t expect these supply constraints to be corrected anytime soon. Microsoft’s Mike Spencer said The New York Times that he expects the Xbox Series X console shortages to continue until June at the earliest. The forecasts are bleaker when you consider AMD chipmaker reviews – which supplies components for both consoles – claiming that demand for parts will exceed supply until the second half of 2021.
If that’s any consolation, the coronavirus pandemic has also delayed production of many versions of next-gen games, meaning there is less reason to immediately upgrade to the latest Xbox console. The next generation starts with a whimper rather than a bang.
Finding a reseller with an Xbox Series X in stock is a challenge and requires luck as well as research. Despite temporary policies preventing customers from buying more than one console, the slow trickle-down of new inventory is spread across so many online stores that each retailer tends to sell out within minutes.
The Xbox Series X can also be purchased through Xbox All Access, which gives you the console and 24 months of access to Microsoft’s on-demand games service, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, from £ 28.99 per month. That said, the availability of Xbox All Access is limited by the same supply issues with the console itself.
Fresh stock can arrive suddenly and without warning, so it’s a good idea to follow Xbox Series X stock tracks and online retailer Twitter accounts where you can. Our guide to where to buy the Xbox Series X lists all the retailers who have already had stock or offered pre-orders. We always update this page with the latest information on the expected arrival of new consoles, so check back regularly for restocking updates.
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When will the Xbox Series X restock in the UK?
Where to buy Xbox Series X in the UK
Since the Christmas rush, the supply of Xbox Series X consoles has slowed to a trickle, but it’s at least a steady trickle. New stock has been sporadic in March and April, with lots of cool consoles typically selling out in under five minutes. Some retailers, notably Microsoft’s own store, have had more restockings than others.
Knowing which retailers to check out first can help you pick one up when they appear, so we’ve compiled a shortlist of the most likely places you can buy an Xbox Series X.
Smythstoys.com – Smyths Toys is one of two retailers offering the Xbox All Access program. New console stock hasn’t been seen since mid-March, and although the product page claims more Xboxes will be available in May, this is only a placeholder notice. On Twitter, Smyths is alerting his customers that he doesn’t know when the Xbox Series X will be back in stock and to continue to check the site for updates.
Xbox.com – New Xbox Series X consoles are currently showing up on Microsoft’s own store once or twice a week, so it’s worth checking here often to see if stock is available. As always, they’re retrieved within minutes, so you need to be quick.
John Lewis and partners – The new stock appeared briefly at the end of April, then twice in March, each time selling within a very short period of time. The online retailer usually adds new items to the website early in the morning – around 7am if you feel like setting your alarm.
Very – A consistently reliable Xbox reseller until February, Very hasn’t smelled like a console since then, and doesn’t give an expected date for a stock return.
Thu – Game was a major Xbox Series X retailer at launch and had regular arrivals of new inventory until the end of March. The online store is also one of two retailers to sell the Xbox All Access program. Things dried up in April, but you can follow Twitter feed of the game to be informed of the availability of new consoles.
Currys PC World – Currys had a drip feed from new consoles in March and April, but the retailer is currently sold out and has no indication of when it will restock. Currys is selling the Xbox Series X with a three-month Game Pass bundle for £ 479, and it’s that bundle that’s been back in stock lately.
How much does the Xbox Series X cost?
The Xbox Series X costs £ 449. There’s also the Xbox All Access program, where you pay nothing up front and get an Xbox Series X console and 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate for £ 28.99 per month. At the end of the 24 month term, you keep the console.
The all-digital Xbox Series S console costs £ 249 and is more often in stock than the more powerful Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series S is also available through the Xbox All Access program for £ 20.99 per month.
Lots have been spotted, but they are rare. Online retailer Very provided the console with an additional controller when it had stock of the console. Currys PC World is selling the console with three months of Game Pass for £ 479. But with the base consoles in such a limited supply, don’t expect to see great deals on bundles anytime soon.
Xbox Series X price vs PlayStation 5 price
The price of Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 is the same at £ 449. The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (which doesn’t have a disc drive) costs £ 349, compared to the all-digital Xbox Series S, which is cheaper than its £ 249 rival.
Comparing the two cheaper models is tricky, because although neither has a disk drive, they are not equivalent. The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is just as powerful as a standard PlayStation 5 – it just doesn’t have a disc drive – while the Xbox Series S is a slight downgrade in performance from the higher spec Xbox Series X.
Is the Xbox One dead?
No. It’s true that the Xbox One sold poorly compared to Sony’s PlayStation 4, but in many ways the Xbox Series X marks a shift in the way Microsoft sees the traditional console cycle. Rather than thinking about generations and hardware, the company is now focused on providing continuous access to games as a subscription service, similar to how Netflix or Spotify works.
Game Pass is Microsoft’s on-demand gaming platform, giving players access to over 100 full games for a monthly fee. Microsoft is investing heavily in its subscription offering, attracting big game publishers like Bethesda in an effort to bolster its library of titles and draw gamers away from rival Sony’s PlayStation Now service.
Even the very latest games in Game Pass are designed to be compatible with previous consoles as well as next-gen consoles, so over time owning the latest hardware becomes less important for the majority of gamers. Older Xbox generations are expected to avoid dump for some time yet.
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