A new year means a new opportunity to crawl after the next generation of video game consoles. While PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been difficult to obtain in 2020, many gamers are hopeful that both systems will be more readily available in 2021.
Although there is no official evidence to support such hopes, it seems likely when the holiday rush dies. If you’re hoping to secure an Xbox Series X or Series S before the end of winter, here’s what you should know, including tools to install and dealers to look at in January.
Popfindr, OctoShop and other tools for finding Xbox Series X consoles
If you are not quite sure how to even start finding stock, do not worry. There are several websites, Twitter accounts and Google Chrome extensions that keep track of inventory for you. You can use these to find an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console just when they are back in stock. PopFindr is especially useful, as it helps you see the inventory in local stores if you plan to pick up a console in person.
If you get the console online, an extension like OctoShop is also location-based and often multiple retailers also check incredibly useful. For Twitter accounts, you can set alerts on @ Wario64, which consistently tweets when new consoles become available. The Stock Informer Discord channel can also help you track again. If you want to give up these tools, you have to do the legwork yourself by keeping track of the major retailers.
Target is the big retailer to see on its way into 2021
It’s not entirely clear if this was the start of a new wave or a one-off thing, but it’s worth keeping an eye on both the Series X and Series S updates pages.
GameStop is especially worth keeping an eye on for Xbox updates because stocks tend to linger a bit longer compared to retailers like Amazon. GameStop has occasionally added console bundles to the site, where players can grab a console with some games or extra controls packed in. These deals tend to be a daunting price, but that means they are usually online a little longer. If pre-investment is not an issue, it is worth going that route to save yourself the headaches.
The dealer last had a package available on December 19 at 12.00 Eastern, which stayed a bit up. Package included NBA 2K 21, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and an additional controller.
The best advice when it comes to finding an Xbox is to stick with the Microsoft Store. The retailer has set up the new consoles fairly consistently since they were launched, so it’s one of the best pictures to find one at the moment. The only catch is that shipping from the Microsoft Store may tend to be a bit slower than other retailers. It took me about three weeks to send my own series X.
It’s been a hot minute since the Xbox Series X or Series S appeared on Best Buy. The retailer last had them on sale on December 15, so they may be due for an update faster than other retailers. The only catch is that they tend to sell out particularly quickly there.
Although there are no official details, Best Buy usually announces inventory in advance to give buyers advance notice in just a few hours. Last time, the retailer even gave a small time window and said that the systems would be available after 9am east, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their social channels for updates.
Walmart is one of the newer retailers to have new Xboxs in stock. Series S last appeared on its website on December 23 at 12:45 East. There was not much warning when it happened, but the dealer usually notifies before the consoles go up.
In general, Walmart is quite consistent when it comes to refills, so they are a good dealer to keep an eye on if you do not want to track a whole bunch. Set up alerts on the Series X or Series S sides and keep the trigger finger ready.
Amazon can blink, and you miss the experience of Microsoft’s new systems. Series X and Series S seem to appear randomly and come down just as quickly. The most recent recovery appears to have taken place on December 17 at 11:30 a.m. East, two days after a major recovery that hit most dealers on December 15. When there is a rush, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on Amazon for days to see if it repeats the same pattern.
Newegg has been a surprisingly good way to find an Xbox since it was launched. Like the GameStop, the retailer tends to set up larger bundles containing games and accessories. Newegg’s latest update came on December 21, a little later than the middle of the month, 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 on a smaller popular retailer.
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