We’re ten months into the launch of the Xbox series X, and Microsoft’s next-generation console continues to elude customers. While the cheaper, less powerful Xbox series S is easier to find at most retailers, supplies of the X are sparse across the globe. Restocks are arriving with increasing regularity but the consoles are snapped up almost as quickly they appear.
Microsoft isn’t the only company with a supply chain problem. Rival Sony is also facing shortages of its PlayStation 5 console, with delays blamed on everything from organised scalpers hoarding the machines to resell for profit, to semiconductor shortages causing bottlenecks in the production of electronics around the world, to the simple fact that both new consoles are in such high demand.
Don’t expect these supply constraints to be fixed any time soon. Microsoft’s Mike Spencer told The New York Times that he expects shortages of the Xbox series X console to continue. The forecast is bleaker when you consider comments from chipmaker AMD — which provides components for both consoles — saying demand for parts would outstrip supply until the end of 2021.
If it’s any consolation, the coronavirus pandemic has also delayed production of many next-gen game releases, meaning there are fewer reasons to upgrade to the newest Xbox console right away. The next-generation is starting off on a whimper rather than a bang.
Finding a retailer with an Xbox series X in stock is a challenge, and requires luck as well as research. Despite temporary policies preventing customers from purchasing more than one console, the slow trickle of new stock is spread out among so many online stores that each individual retailer tends to sell out in minutes.
The Xbox series X can also be purchased through Xbox All Access, which gives you the console and a 24 months of access to Microsoft’s games-on-demand service, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, from £28.99 per month. That said, the availability of Xbox All Access is constrained by the very 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 trackers and online retailers’ Twitter accounts where you can. Our guide to where to buy the Xbox series X lists every retailer that has previously had stock or offered pre-orders. We’re always refreshing this page with the latest information on when new consoles are expected to come in, so check back regularly for restock updates.
When will Xbox series X restock in the UK?
Microsoft Store: Out of stock
Box: Out of stock
Amazon UK: Out of stock
Game: Available in-store and via Xbox All Access
Smyths Toys: Out of stock
Currys PC World: Out of stock
John Lewis & Partners: Out of stock
Argos: Out of stock
Asda: Out of stock
AO: Out of stock
Shopto: Out of stock
Very: Out of stock
BT: Out of stock
EE: Out of stock
Ebuyer: Out of stock
Simplygames: Out of stock
Where is Xbox series S in stock in the UK?
If you’re looking for the more affordable version of Microsoft’s latest console, then you’re in luck. The Xbox series S is generally available across most of the big retailers.
Some bundles include additional hard-drive storage, controllers and Game Pass subscriptions. Here are some of the best deals right now.
Xbox series S console: £249, Currys.co.uk
Xbox series S bundle with extra controller: £299, Box.co.uk
Xbox series S bundle with elite controller: £409.98, Xbox.com
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 consistent trickle. New stock has been sporadic, with fresh batches of consoles usually selling out in less than five minutes. Some retailers, most notably Game, have had more restocks than others.
Knowing which retailers to check first to can help you grab one when they do appear, so we’ve compiled a shortlist of the most likely places you can buy an Xbox series X.
Game — The Xbox series X is currently in stock in many physical stores around the country. Enter your postcode to check your local branch for availability. The retailer had the Halo Infinite limited edition Xbox series X available for pre-order on 25 August.
Amazon UK – The retailer last restocked the Xbox series X on 9 September, though supply was so limited the console was only on sale for around two minutes. Whereas Amazon restricts sales of Sony’s next-generation console to Prime customers, the Xbox gets no such protection. As such it’s exposed to automated bots and unscrupulous resellers and sells out in the blink of an eye.
Make sure you’re signed into your Amazon account, and ensure your payment and delivery information is up to date. If you haven’t already, register for a 30 day trial of Amazon Prime in case the Xbox series X is exclusively available to members.
Microsoft Store — Pre-orders for the Halo Infinite limited edition Xbox bundle opened on 25 August and quickly sold out, while the standard Xbox series X was last available on 7 September. As ever, the consoles are snapped up in minutes, so you have to be quick.
Currys PC World — The Xbox series X was last in stock on 7 September. When it’s in stock, we advise adding the console to your wish list and attempting to complete your purchase through the Currys app.
Argos — The retailer most recently restocked on 5 August. Again, the best way to check out with the console is to add it to your wish list and hit the buy button from inside the Argos app.
Smyths Toys — Smyths had limited stock of the Xbox series X available on 9 September. Enter your postcode on the product page to see if your local branch has the console in stock. Smyths Toys is one of three retailers stocking the Xbox All Access programme. The Xbox series X was last available to purchase through that programme on 5 August.
AO — The Xbox series X was last in stock on 1 September, and was sold as part of a bundle costing £614. The bundle included a charging dock, extra controller and wireless gaming headset. Bundles tend to stay in stock longer as they’re slightly more expensive and less appealing to scalpers, as the bundled accessories eat into their potential profit.
Box – The Xbox series X was in stock at Box on 27 July. The retailers runs a ballot for customers to register their interest and be in with a chance to be selected at random to buy a console. When it’s open, you can register for the ballot here. The retailer is expected to launch similar ballots as more stock arrives.
Very — The new Xbox series X was in stock on 24 August, when it went on sale alongside the PlayStation 5. Customers could choose from one of a number of optional bundles, including three months of Game Pass and an additional controller.
Simplygames – The Xbox series X was in stock on 16 June but sold out in a few hours. Simplygames only sells the console as part of a custom bundle the retailer has put together, making it more expensive than other stores. The bundle usually contains an extra controller, three months of Game Pass, a gaming headset and a couple of games.
EE – The mobile phone provider has had limited stock in the past. With EE you can spread the cost of the Xbox series X across the term of your EE contract when you select “add to plan” at the EE Shop. On top of your usual phone contract you pay £45 a month for 11 months, with a £10 upfront cost.
Asda — The retailer’s online store had the Xbox series X in stock on 25 June, but since then the console has been sold out. Asda gives no indication of when it expects new stock to arrive, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the store page over the coming weeks for fresh availability.
John Lewis & Partners — New stock briefly appeared on 12 July, and before that on 7 July and 22 June, each time selling out in a very short space of time. The online retailer usually adds new items to the website in the early hours of the morning — around 7am if you fancy setting your alarm.
How much is the Xbox series X?
The Xbox series X costs £449. There’s also the Xbox All Access programme, 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 programme for £20.99 per month.
Bundles have been spotted, but they’re unofficial and compiled by retailers to get rid of old stock and put off scalpers. Online retailer Very bundled the console with an extra controller when it had stock of the console. Currys PC World sells the console with three months of Game Pass for £479.
With the base consoles in such limited supply, don’t expect to see great deals on bundles anytime soon.
Xbox series X price vs PlayStation 5 price
Both the Xbox series X and the PlayStation 5 are priced identically 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 rival at £249.
Comparing the two cheaper models is tricky, as while neither has a disc drive, they’re not equivalent. The PlayStation 5 digital edition is just as powerful as a standard PlayStation 5 — it simply doesn’t have a disc drive — while the Xbox series S is a slight performance downgrade of the higher-specification Xbox series X.
Is 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 how Microsoft views the traditional console cycle. Rather than thinking in generations and hardware, the company is now focusing on providing ongoing access to games as a subscription service, similar to how Netflix or Spotify operates.
Game Pass is Microsoft’s on-demand games platform, giving players access to over 100 full games for a monthly fee. Microsoft is investing heavily in its subscription offering, snapping up large games publishers like Bethesda in a bid to bolster its library of titles and lure players away from Sony’s rival PlayStation Now service.
Even the very latest games on Game Pass are designed to be compatible with previous consoles as well as next-generation ones, so that over time, owning the newest hardware becomes less important for the majority of players. Older generations of Xbox are expected to dodge the landfill for a while yet.
Best Xbox accessories
Whether you’re still waiting for your chance to get your hands on an Xbox series X or you managed to snap one up in a recent drop, we’ve tested and reviewed everything you’ll need to complete your gaming experience, from the best wireless gaming headsets to the best gaming keyboards. Here are a few of our favourites.
Best wireless gaming headset – Turtle beach stealth 700 gen 2: £129.99, Argos.co.uk
The successor to the bestselling Xbox one X headset, Turtle Beach’s second generation stealth 700 wireless headphones deliver seriously impressive sound in a neat package that forgoes some of the garish, primary-coloured trimmings of other gaming headsets.
The rigid design makes them feel sturdy and premium, while the aerogel foam padding keeps your ears comfortable during long play sessions. There are no wires, dongles or base stations required on Xbox series X – just synchronise over Bluetooth and you’re good to go. Multiple connections mean you can listen to your music or make phones calls while you play.
Best Xbox controller – Xbox elite wireless controller series 2: £159.99, Argos.co.uk
This is the pinnacle of gamepads. The elite controller comes with a set of optional thumb stick pads so you can select the shape and texture you prefer. The pad has adjustable-tension thumbsticks, a rubberised grip for clammy hands and more sensitive triggers to achieve faster reaction times in FPS games.
At the push of a button you can switch between three preset profiles, so your control setup is always correct for the type of game you’re playing. A premium Xbox controller for the discerning gamer, it can truly elevate your skills.
Best Xbox steering wheel – Hori racing wheel overdrive: £89.99, Game.co.uk
There are more sophisticated and elaborate racing wheels for the Xbox series X but the full-size Hori wheel is built from the ground up to work perfectly with Microsoft’s next-gen console.
It has a simple design belying superb build quality and durability, and can be clamped to a table for a secure ride. Shifting paddles and turn ratios can all be customised in terms of function and sensitivity, and the wheel comes with a set of foot pedals for a complete racing simulation.
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