Black Friday has made it easy to find deals on everything from high-end headphones to world-class whisky. But try finding an Xbox Series X in the Black Friday sales and you’ll likely come up blank. (You’ll struggle to find a PS5 deal, too, but that’s another story).
Both the Xbox Series S and the top-of-the-line Series X have been in short supply since launching on 10th November, 2020. In the case of the Xbox Series X, the situation is so dire that simply finding Xbox Series Black Friday X stock is a ‘deal’ in itself.
The good news? The shopping frenzy that runs from Black Friday (26th November) to Cyber Monday (29th November) is your golden opportunity to score Xbox inventory. Retailers such as Amazon, Game, Walmart, Best Buy and Argos have all seen waves of Xbox stock lately, suggesting that availability could be on rise.
Finding an Xbox Series X deal isn’t rocket science, but it does require you deploy a few little tricks. We’ll reveal them in a moment, but first, let’s answer the question that has plagued store managers for the last 12 months: why is the Xbox Series X in short supply?
US Xbox Series X quick links
UK Xbox Series X quick links
Supply chain bottlenecks, chip shortages and scalpers (folks who snap-up multiple consoles to resell online at huge markups) have made it a struggle to get hold of the Xbox Series S… and nigh-on impossible to buy the more powerful Xbox Series X.
As you might expect, Microsoft’s troubles can be traced back to the events of March 2020 when much of Europe, Australia and the USA was forced into lockdown by COVID-19. Xbox pre-orders began on 22nd September 2020 and sold out within days, swiftly followed by the first batch of consoles in November. Xbox Series X restocks proved just as scarce.
It quickly became clear that a combination of shipping delays and booming demand for home entertainment devices – including Microsoft’s first flagship gaming system for three years – had left chip makers scrambling to fulfil orders. And without the chips, Microsoft would effectively be selling very fancy boat anchors.
Black Friday quick links
In February 2021, Microsoft’s head of investor relations, told The New York Times that Microsoft had “sold every Xbox unit it had last quarter,” adding that supply was “likely to be constrained at least through June.”
Later that month, US President Joe Biden – an unlikely Xbox fan – took matters into his own hands, announcing an investigation into stock shortages and promising legislation to boost the supply of semiconductor chips used in both the Xbox Series X and PS5. No, really.
Meanwhile, scalpers continued to hoover up Xbox Series X consoles, leaving gamers to vent their frustration on Twitter. And by September 2021, even Xbox boss Phil Spencer had announced that “Series X stock issues will last into next year”.
“People really want this new generation of consoles… and they want the new functionality,” he said. “We’re working hard to bring them to market but it’s going to be a challenge that we’ll work through for quite a while.”
Has Black Friday helped matters? Not yet. Finding an Xbox Series X deal is still difficult… but not impossible. Keep an eye on Twitter (@XboxStockAlerts is a reliable source of tips) and stock tracking sites such as Stock Informer. Combine this intel with the tricks below and you should be able to stuff an Xbox into your stocking this holiday…
1. Sign up and sign in
Open a free account with all the major Xbox Series X retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Game, Microsoft, Best Buy, Argos, Sam’s Club, Smyths Toys etc) and sign in before stock drops. That way, you won’t lose your console before you checkout.
2. Fill your basket
Add the Xbox of your choice to your shopping basket ahead of the drop. So when product goes live, you’ll be poised to strike. Remember: you’re competing with scalpers, so every second counts.
3. Download the app
Most retailers have iOS/Android phone apps. And since apps tend to be more stable than websites, they’re less prone to crashing when Xbox Series X stock goes live. The Amazon app is a must. Those in the UK should also download the Argos app.
4. Join a loyalty program
In the UK/US, Amazon Prime members get first crack at any Xbox Series X stock. Not a Prime member? You’re effectively going into battle with one hand tied behind your back. (Here a 30-day free Prime trial if you need it.) Xbox hunters in the States should also consider joining Walmart Plus.
So, get to it! Persistence pays off. Now’s also a great time to stock up on games and accessories, which are at least easier to come by. The best Black Friday Xbox Series X deals include 71% off Watch Dogs Legion (was £58, now £17) and a 1-month trial of Xbox Ultimate Game Pass for just £1/$1.
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