Update December 15 (1:45 p.m. Central): Walmart is reportedly restocking the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5 at 2 p.m. Central (3 p.m. Eastern).
Best Buy restocked all next-gen consoles today and is releasing stock intermittently. If you are able to click "Add to cart" you'll then need to wait and should be prompted eventually with a second "Add to cart" at which point you can check out, but be aware that until you checkout nothing is reserved for you.
Finding an Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S or a PS5 during their first month of availability has been difficult, to say the least. But in the case of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, it seems like availability is finally increasing to the point that a concerted effort will get you a console.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting you can just pop onto any retailers website and order one for delivery this week, but if you know where to look, you should be able to secure an order and have an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S coming your way sometime in the next month.
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Xbox Series X|S: Where to buy
- Amazon: Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S
- Best Buy: Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S
- Costco: Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S
- GameStop: Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S
- Microsoft: Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S
- Newegg: Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S
- Target: Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S
- Walmart: Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S
In the market for a PS5? The same basic strategies are going to apply, but I'll tell you right now, your chances of getting one even with these strategies hover somewhere between slim and none. Whether it is due to greater demand or more limited supplies, both PS5 variants are typically gone within two minutes of being posted whereas the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S can last for upwards of 20 minutes. That's still a tight window, but gives you a far more realistic chance.
I've been monitoring notifications for availability on both closely for the last 10 days and had multiple opportunities to buy either an Xbox Series X or an Xbox Series S from third-party retailers and Microsoft itself. The closest I've gotten with a PS5 is 31 minutes remaining in the line to purchase one directly from Sony.
How to find an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S
Alright, so first I need to set the basic expectation that you need to be pretty quick on the draw. That leaves you with the question of where you should be looking in the first place. The best option is to follow a Twitter account that specializes in gaming restock and deal notifications. One of the best is @Wario64; they stick to US. deals which helps reduce the volume a bit compared to other reliable accounts like @GYXDeals.
While you have a bit more time with the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, I have never seen them go past 30 minutes of availability, so if you really want to make sure you don't miss out, you have a couple of options. The easiest, but most disruptive, is to set to receive notifications for every tweet from a given account.
If you opt for @Wario64 or especially @GYXDeals, this will be a lot of notifications as they post dozens of deals daily that aren't next-gen console availability related. Of course, the hope here is that within 48-72 hours you secure your console and can turn notifications back off.
The other option, if you find yourself almost perpetually in front of your computer for your job like myself, is using something like Tweetdeck that gives you a live-updating feed of Twitter and set @Wario64 as one of your primary columns to keep tabs on any updates as they happen.
Using nothing more than this strategy, I have had the chance to buy either an Xbox Series X or an Xbox Series S on multiple occasions over the last 10 days. Now I can't guarantee that delivery will be in time for the holidays at this point, but try either of these methods for 2 to 3 days and you should be able to have your order in for one of Microsoft's next-gen consoles.
For my PS5 hopefuls, your best bet is the account @PS5StockAlerts and your one lucky break versus your Xbox counterparts is that this account only tweets about PS5 availability, so set those notifications without fear as it can be days between tweets. Just be ready to drop everything and get that order in at the moment you see the notification as stock will probably be gone in under a minute.
Good luck everybody!
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.