Where to buy Xbox Series X: Restock updates and how to pre-order Microsoft’s newest console in the UK

The elusive console is selling out everywhere. Here’s how to get your hands on the latest Xbox

Steve Hogarty
Thursday 13 May 2021 08:47
<p>More Xbox stock is coming – here’s the intel you need</p>

More Xbox stock is coming – here’s the intel you need

Update: The Xbox Series X is currently in stock at Argos. Read on for more details.

We’re six months into the launch of the Xbox Series X, and Microsoft’s next-generation console continues to elude customers. Supplies are sparse across the globe, and while restocks are arriving with increasing regularity, the consoles are snapped up almost as quickly they appear. Right now, Argos is the only retailer with the Xbox Series X currently in stock.

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 until June at the earliest. 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 second half 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.

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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.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

When will Xbox Series X restock in the UK?

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 throughout April and May, with fresh batches of consoles usually selling out in less than five minutes. Some retailers, most notably Microsoft’s own store, 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.

Argos — The Xbox Series X has been in stock since 12 May, though customers are reportedly struggling to complete their purchase after adding the console to their trolley. Twitter users advise using the Argos app and adding the Xbox Series X to their wishlist to be notified of new stock updates.

Xbox — Stock drops are appearing at irregular intervals throughout the week, so keep refreshing this page to have the best chance of grabbing a console. New Xbox Series X consoles appear on Microsoft’s own store once or twice a week right now, so it’s worth checking here often to see if stock is available. As ever, they’re snapped up in minutes, so you have to be quick.

Box – Box is currently running a ballot for customers to register their interest and have a chance to be selected at random to buy a console. The retailer is expected to launch similar ballots as more stock arrives. When it’s open, you can register for the ballot here.

Asda — The retailer’s online store had the Xbox Series X in stock in the run up to Christmas, 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 in late April, and on two occasions again in March, 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.

Smythstoys — Smyths Toys is one of two retailers stocking the Xbox All Access programme. New console stock hasn’t been seen since mid-March, and while the product page claims that more Xboxes will become available in May, this is only a placeholder notice. On Twitter, Smyths is alerting customers that it doesn’t know when the Xbox Series X will be back in stock and to keep checking the site for updates.

Very — A consistently reliable stockist of Xboxes up until February, Very hasn’t had a whiff of a console since then, and doesn’t give an expected date for stock to return.

Game — Game was one of the leading Xbox Series X retailers at launch and had regular arrivals of new stock all the way up to the end of March. The online store is also one of two retailers to sell the Xbox All Access programme. Things have dried up in April, but you can follow Game’s Twitter feed for a heads up on when new consoles are being made available. 

Currys PC World — Currys has had a drip feed of new consoles throughout March and April, but the retailer is currently sold out and gives no indication as to when it will restock. Currys sells the Xbox Series X with a three-month Game Pass bundle for £479, and it’s this bundle that’s been arriving back in stock lately.

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 rare. 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. But 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.

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