A new year means lots of new opportunities to scramble for next-generation video game consoles. While the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X were extremely hard to come by in 2020, many gamers still remain hopeful that the systems will both become more readily available in 2021.
After the holiday rush, as more consoles are produced, they should theoretically become easier to find as the year progresses. If you’re hoping to secure an Xbox Series X or Series S before winter’s end, here’s what to know including tools to install and the retailers to watch in January.
Popfindr, OctoShop, and other tools to find Xbox Series X consoles
For those that are not quite sure how to even begin finding restocks, don’t worry. There are several websites, Twitter accounts, and Google Chrome extensions that keep track of restocks for you. You can use those to find an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console right when they are back in stock. PopFindr is especially useful, as it helps you see the inventory at local stores if you're planning to pick a console up in person.
If you're getting the console online, then an extension like OctoShop that's also location-based and frequently checks several retailers is also incredibly useful. When it comes to Twitter accounts, set notifications on @Wario64, who consistently tweets when new consoles become available. The Stock Informer Discord channel can also help you track restocks. If you want to forgo those tools, you'll have to do the legwork yourself by keeping tabs on the big-name retailers.
If you truly want an Xbox console, then you may have the best luck if you directly stake out the Microsoft Store. Microsoft also sells consoles through their online storefront for Windows and Xbox and has put out new consoles frequently since launch. Because it's coming directly from the source, your order is less likely to get canceled or misplaced!
The main catch to order from here is that the Microsoft Store’s shipping can tend to be a little slower than other retailers. Still, it's a reliable way to find one so you'll want to heavily monitor the official Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S store pages.
Since the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S were released on November 10, Antonline has restocked consoles consistently. They aren't as traditional of a retailer as the Microsoft Store or Walmart, as they sell bundles at an increased price. An Xbox Series S bundle is available as of January 7 and includes an extra controller and 3 months of Xbox Game Pass for $404.97. Get it while you can, and expect more restocks over the rest of January.
As the biggest retailer in North America, Walmart has frequently restocked Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles since the launch in November. Even though they aren't selling consoles in stores anymore, the Series S has been available on their website as recently as 12:45 p.m. Eastern on December 23, 2020. Walmart is usually pretty good at letting people know when exactly restock are going to happen too
In general, Walmart is fairly consistent when it comes to restocks, so they’re a good retailer to keep watch on if you don’t want to track a whole bunch. Set up alerts on the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S pages and keep your trigger finger ready.
Target is the big retailer to watch heading into 2021. After rumors circulated that console restocks were planned, it appears that those finally came through in the final week of December. Twitter users have been sharing screenshots of their successful Series X orders, which were supposedly available for in-store pick-up.
GameStop’s particularly worth following for Xbox updates because stock tends to hang around slightly longer compared to retailers like Amazon. GameStop has sporadically added console bundles to the website, where players can grab a console with some games or extra controllers packed in. Those deals tend to be an intimidating price, but that means they’re usually online a little longer. If the upfront investment isn’t a problem, it’s worth going that route to save yourself a headache.
The retailer last had a bundle available on December 19 at around 12 p.m. Eastern, which stayed up for a bit. That package included NBA 2K 21, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and an extra controller.
It’s been a hot minute since the Xbox Series X or Series S popped up at Best Buy. The retailer last had them on sale on December 15, so they may be due for a refresh sooner than other retailers. The only catch is that they tend to sell out particularly fast there.
While there are no official details, Best Buy usually announces restocks beforehand to give buyers advance notice of only a few hours. Last time, the retailer even provided a slight time window, saying the systems would be available after 9 a.m. Eastern, so it’s worth keeping an eye on its social channels for updates.
Amazon can be a blink and you miss it experience when it comes to Microsoft’s new systems. The Series X and Series S appear to pop up at random and just as quickly come down. The last restock appears to have happened on December 17 at around 11:30 a.m. Eastern, two days after a wider restock that hit most retailers on December 15. Whenever a rush happens, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on Amazon in the days after to see if it repeats that same pattern.
Newegg has been a surprisingly good way to find an Xbox since it launched. Like GameStop, the retailer tends to put up larger bundles that feature bundled games and extras. Newegg's last refresh came on December 21, a little later than the bit mid-month wave, so it’s worth setting up alerts on the Xbox Series X and Series S pages to make sure you don’t miss a less competitive rush at a less popular retailer.
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