The Xbox Series X and S are both out now, but both consoles are still surprisingly tricky to actually buy - especially the more premium X. We're keeping tabs on all the retailers offering the devices and will keep you updated as soon as stock is re-introduced.
Pre-orders sold out almost instantly, and the same has happened basically every time since the consoles went on sale last November - so here are all the stores to keep checking for when more stock comes in.
There's talk that more stock might be on the way just in time for Black Friday, though don't expect any massive savings on the consoles themselves - though games and accessories are a different story.
How much do the Xbox Series X & Series S cost?
The more affordable Xbox Series S, which is 60% smaller than the Series X, costs £249/$299.
Where to buy the Xbox Series X/S
Xbox Series X and S consoles go quickly, and most stores which offer the consoles to buy outright are out of stock at the time of writing - though we're seeing Series S stock more readily available.
At this rate, you'll probably have an easier time finding an Xbox Series X mini fridge for Christmas than an actual console.
These are the best UK retailers to check:
- Currys PC World
- Game Collection
- 365 Games
- John Lewis
In the UK, Box is still running its ongoing ballot for the Series X, with hopeful buyers able to register in advance for free. Whenever Box gets Xbox stock in, it runs a ballot and draws names that get the chance to buy a console - saving you from sitting in a queue to buy. You can sign up at any time, with the ballots themselves run at set points and announced 24 hours in advance. Even better, signing up once earns you a spot in every future ballot - not just the next one.
Naturally, consoles are also available on eBay if you don't mind paying a little extra and taking a risk on a dodgy deal.
Buying the Xbox Series X/S on monthly plans
If you can find it in stock, you'll also be able to buy the consoles on a pay monthly basis via the Xbox All Access program, which bundles the system with 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for £28.99/$34.99 per month with no upfront cost. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs £10.99/$14.99 per month if you pay for it separately, so it really is a pretty good deal.
BT also announced that its broadband and mobile customers can buy the Xbox Series X (or Series S) through their MyBT account while existing EE customers can spread the cost of the new Xbox consoles by adding it to their mobile contract.
Even better, anyone looking for a new phone this year in the UK could get a free Xbox out of it too. Until Black Friday, EE is offering a free Xbox Series S with 3 months of Game Pass Ultimate and unlimited gaming data if you sign up for an eligible contract for a Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G, Google Pixel 6, Oppo A54 5G, Oppo A94 5G, or Oppo Find X3 Lite 5G.
Buy a Series X through Xbox Insider
US Xbox One owners can now apply to buy a Series X or Series S directly from Microsoft through the new Console Purchase Pilot, open to members of the Xbox Insider Program.
This isn't an option in the UK yet, but we're pretty hopeful that it will be before too long.
If you're not already an Xbox Insider you can sign up by downloading the Xbox Insider Hub on either your Xbox One or a Windows 10 PC.
Conveniently, that's also the app through which you can register for the Console Purchase Pilot, though not every applicant will be accepted.
Hopefully this pilot will be a success and Microsoft will roll the system out worldwide - but in the meantime, if you're already an Xbox One owner it definitely makes sense to join Xbox Insider now to be ready if and when the reservation scheme expands.
Don't expect it to be easy to find even then though - Xbox head Phil Spencer told the Dropped Frames podcast that stock shortages are likely to continue for "a few months."
"We know what our supply will look like basically for the rest of the year. We're going to have more demand than we do supply," Spencer said.
When is Black Friday 2021 and should you wait for a better deal?
Black Friday arrives on Friday 26 November this year, followed by Cyber Monday on 29 November, which leads to the question: should you wait until then for a better deal?
To be blunt: no. If you want the Xbox now and you see it in stock then pick it up. It's very unlikely that the console itself will see any serious reductions or offers over the sales season.
However, the same doesn't hold for games and accessories, which are on sale already. Microsoft has its own sale on the Xbox Store including FIFA 22 and Far Cry 6, and Amazon is also discounting loads of Xbox accessories and games.
There's no need to wait for 26 November itself, of course. In the past, the biggest and best Black Friday deals were typically reserved for the big day, but now Black Friday deals appear all through November and sometimes, as early as October.
If you see dramatic Black Friday discounts before 26 November, just go for it! Some retailers that hold pre-Black Fridays sales also promise that prices won't go any lower on Black Friday itself and offer to refund customers back the difference if it does. We're answering all your Black Friday-related questions here.