Microsoft’s next-gen gaming consoles, the Xbox Series X and Series S, came out in November 2020, but buying one even now has been challenging. If you have a hard time keeping up with restocks on where to buy either console, don’t worry. We are here to help you keep tabs and better your chances of securing either next-gen Xbox console.
Keep in mind that due to the high demand of this console, supply will likely not last long, with inventory selling out typically less than an hour after being made available. Nevertheless, we’ll do our best to keep this article updated with the latest in-stock alerts and tell you when the most recent restock was available at the retailers.
We will also note any opportunities to buy either Xbox console through the Xbox All Access Plan.
Where can I buy an Xbox Series X / Series S right now?
What is an Xbox All Access plan?
As an alternative to making a one-time payment for each console, some retailers also allow the option to pay for the Xbox Series X or Series S via an installment payment plan, allowing you to get the console with no upfront cost. Xbox All Access will bill you monthly ($24.99 per month for the Series S, $34.99 per month for the Series X) for 24 months. This package includes either console, plus a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Due to the pandemic, most retailers, including Best Buy and Target, will only sell the console online until further notice. We see restocks happening multiple times throughout a week from various retailers; most notably, we have seen frequent restocks recently appear at Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Store, and Walmart, in particular.
The Xbox Series S costs $300 and is currently the most affordable ninth-generation home gaming console. It is smaller, less powerful, and lacks a disc drive, limiting you to only playing digital games. The $500 Xbox Series X serves as Microsoft’s flagship gaming console, including a disc drive and more powerful hardware.
What accessories do I need to buy for the Xbox Series X / Series S?
Whether you purchase the most affordable next-gen console (the Xbox Series S) or Microsoft’s most powerful gaming console to date (Series X), they share many accessories that will help you get the most out of your experience.
If you plan to share this console and play local co-op games with family or friends, the purchase of an additional controller is a must. Normally $60, the new Xbox controller does get discounted sometimes.
First up, controllers. You probably already know that the last-gen Xbox Wireless Controller is compatible with the Xbox One as well as the new Series X / S consoles. However, the older controller model lacks a few features that might make the newer one a worthy upgrade for you.
For instance, the revised controller has a dedicated share button for saving clips and screenshots and sharing them online, a USB-C port for charging up Microsoft’s play-and-charge rechargeable battery, and a few cosmetic and physical improvements to the D-pad and triggers. It’s not a completely new controller, like the PlayStation 5’s DualSense, but that comes through with its lower price tag. Regularly $60, you can currently pick up the Xbox Wireless Controller for $54.99 and $54 in white or black respectively at GameStop. Meanwhile, Amazon is selling the shock blue version for $59, while Best Buy is selling the same color for $64.99. Amazon is also selling the $74.99 Forza Horizon 5 limited edition for $69.
In addition to working with the Xbox consoles, the new controller also has Bluetooth support so you can easily connect it to your Android phone, iPhone, or PC. If your PC doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can pick up the Xbox wireless adapter made for Windows 10. Best Buy sells the aforementioned PC adapter for $24.99. Microsoft launched a new controller with a translucent design in honor of the console’s 20th birthday last year, too, one that is reminiscent of the first see-through controllers Microsoft shipped with the original Xbox debug kits. You can buy them for $69.99 at GameStop.
If you are planning to subscribe to both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass, I recommend consolidating those separate purchases and subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It combines both services into one package, while also providing additional access to Game Pass for PC and access to Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, xCloud.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers access to more than 100 titles, including the likes of Doom, Hades, and Halo Infinite, which you can play on multiple devices. The pass also gives subscribers access to exclusive deals, online multiplayer, and Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, Xbox Cloud Gaming.
When it comes to additional storage, both consoles are rather limited: 512GB on the Series S, 1TB on the Series X. You can buy an SSD expansion card that only comes in 1TB, but it is very expensive, costing $220.
There is a solution that can alleviate this until additional SSD options are made available — specifically, using an external hard drive. Ideally, I would suggest buying an external hard drive if you plan to play some older games so you don’t use up your limited SSD.
Of course, you can buy faster storage to add onto your Series X / S console, but it’ll cost you significantly more money than the option above. Microsoft partnered with Seagate to make proprietary SSDs that can be inserted into the rear of either console. The SSDs are currently available in multiple configurations, including a 512GB model for $139.99, a 1TB variant for $216.95, and a 2TB version for $399.99. All three are supposedly just as fast as the storage inside your new console, so this is the best place to keep all of the new games you want to quickly load and switch between at will.
Delegating your older games to slower, but far cheaper storage is a clever way to let you have all of your games accessible without crowding your already-limited SSD space — especially when there’s a sale. Right now, you can pick up Seagate’s special edition Game Pass version of the 4TB Game Drive For Xbox at $107.24 instead of $149.99. This model comes with two complimentary months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which offers access to more than 100 games and other perks.
However, it’s worth pointing out that any external USB drive will be significantly slower to load than what the Series X’s and Series S’s respective SSDs can handle. If you’re hungry for more info, check out this in-depth look at different hard drive performance points from Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter.