This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Back on Nov. 10, Microsoft debuted the Xbox Series X ($500) and its little brother, the Xbox Series S ($300). Along with the equally impressive PS5, they’ve proven to be all but impossible to get so far. That’s too bad, because the Xbox Series X is basically a gaming PC that you attach to your TV, offering nearly full compatibility with the Xbox One gaming library, smooth 4K gaming and the ability to pause and resume up to four titles at once. But even though the inventory picture has been bleak so far, there are still some opportunities to get a console in the coming days.
While most retailers haven’t been transparent about when they expect to have units for sale, a couple have been more upfront. Walmart, for example, has been keeping customers informed about exactly when it’s dropping new inventory via Twitter.
Walmart isn’t the only retailer communicating availability. Antonline is doing much the same, just with less notice. The retailer is tweeting availability at the time of drop, engaging directly with customers and gamers. An Antonline representative also said, “We have a strict one-per-customer policy and are doing many checks to get these into the hands of real gamers and not scalpers.” Here’s the retailer’s most recent tweet about a drop. As you can see, you’ll probably want to follow the retailer for the tweets to be useful:
Best Buy and GameStop are also teasing Xbox availability for Black Friday week, but without any specific details.
Unlike Sony, which conducted an online-only launch for the PS5, Microsoft stocked the shelves both online and in stores. But as you scour the web and brick-and-mortar stores for inventory, temper your expectations: They’re nowhere to be found and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better: Microsoft is now saying that Xbox inventory could be tight through April 2021.
If you still want to try your luck, here’s a list of the major retailers selling the Xbox Series X. Our advice is to seek out the $500 retail price, and avoid those pricey retailer bundles (which include extraneous controllers, accessories and games).
Best Buy was the last retailer standing back in the preorder days of September, but now stands ready for your Xbox Series X purchase as inventory allows.
Amazon is selling the Xbox Series X and the less expensive Series S from this same product page.
Walmart does a solid job of noting availability windows for PS5 and Xbox on its Twitter feed. You might also want to visit the retailer’s Xbox landing page for both new consoles. To be clear, Walmart says your next chance to buy an Xbox online will be at 6 p.m. PT today.
GameStop had touted “very limited number of Xbox Series X and S console bundles for purchase” but those are currently sold out.
This is Target’s product page for the Xbox Series X.
This is where you can purchase the Xbox Series X at Newegg when the retailer has inventory.
If you want to get the latest on the Xbox Series X, there’s probably nowhere better than Microsoft’s own Xbox Series X home page. Here you’ll find the latest specs, announced game titles, details on the new controller and more.
Are you already getting desperate? Are you willing to pay a premium of hundreds of dollars over the list price? Listen, we wouldn’t do this and we don’t recommend you do it, either. But if you want to take that path, StockX is a reputable eBay-style site that will let you buy and sell new Xbox and PS5 models — as long as you’re willing to pay upwards of $750.
Xbox Series X and Series S offer a fine-tuned, streamlined…
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020
Get all the latest deals delivered to your inbox. It’s FREE!
CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.