A new year means a new opportunity to scramble for next-generation video game consoles. While the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been hard to come by in 2020, many gamers remain hopeful that the systems will both become more readily available in 2021.
While there’s no official evidence to support such hopes, it does seem likely as the holiday rush dies down. If you’re hoping to secure an Xbox Series X or Series S before winter’s end, here’s what to know including tools to install and the retailers to watch in January.
Popfindr, OctoShop, and other tools to find Xbox Series X consoles
If you’re not quite sure how to even begin finding restocks, don’t worry. There are several websites, Twitter accounts, and Google Chrome extensions that keep track of restocks for you. You can use those to find an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console right when they are back in stock. PopFindr is especially useful, as it helps you see the inventory at local stores if you’re planning to pick a console up in person.
If you’re getting the console online, then an extension like OctoShop that’s also location-based and frequently checks several retailers is also incredibly useful. When it comes to Twitter accounts, set notifications on @Wario64, who consistently tweets when new consoles become available. The Stock Informer Discord channel can also help you track restocks. If you want to forgo those tools, you’ll have to do the legwork yourself by keeping tabs on the big-name retailers.
Target is the big retailer to watch heading into 2021. After rumors circulated that console restocks were planned, it appears that those finally came through in the final week of December. Twitter users have been sharing screenshots of their successful Series X orders, which were supposedly available for in-store pick-up.
GameStop’s particularly worth following for Xbox updates because stock tends to hang around slightly longer compared to retailers like Amazon. GameStop has sporadically added console bundles to the website, where players can grab a console with some games or extra controllers packed in. Those deals tend to be an intimidating price, but that means they’re usually online a little longer. If the upfront investment isn’t a problem, it’s worth going that route to save yourself a headache.
The retailer last had a bundle available on December 19 at around 12 p.m. Eastern, which stayed up for a bit. That package included NBA 2K 21, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and an extra controller.
The best advice when it comes to finding an Xbox is staking out the Microsoft Store. The retailer has been putting the new consoles up fairly consistently since they launched, so it’s one of your best shots for finding one at the moment. The only catch is that the Microsoft Store’s shipping can tend to be a little slower than other retailers. It took me around three weeks to get my own Series X shipped.
It’s been a hot minute since the Xbox Series X or Series S popped up at Best Buy. The retailer last had them on sale on December 15, so they may be due for a refresh sooner than other retailers. The only catch is that they tend to sell out particularly fast there.
While there are no official details, Best Buy usually announces restocks beforehand to give buyers advance notice of only a few hours. Last time, the retailer even provided a slight time window, saying the systems would be available after 9 a.m. Eastern, so it’s worth keeping an eye on its social channels for updates.
Walmart is one of the more recent retailers to have new Xboxes in stock. The Series S last popped up on its website on December 23 at around 12:45 p.m. Eastern. There wasn’t much of a warning when that happened, but the retailer usually does give notice before consoles go up.
In general, Walmart is fairly consistent when it comes to restocks, so they’re a good retailer to keep watch on if you don’t want to track a whole bunch. Set up alerts on the Series X or Series S pages and keep your trigger finger ready.
Amazon can be a blink and you miss it experience when it comes to Microsoft’s new systems. The Series X and Series S appear to pop up at random and just as quickly come down. The last restock appears to have happened on December 17 at around 11:30 a.m. Eastern, two days after a wider restock that hit most retailers on December 15. Whenever a rush happens, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on Amazon in the days after to see if it repeats that same pattern.
Newegg has been a surprisingly good way to find an Xbox since it launched. Like GameStop, the retailer tends to put up larger bundles that feature bundled games and extras. Newegg’s last refresh came on December 21, a little later than the bit mid-month wave, so it’s worth setting up alerts on the Xbox Series X and Series S pages to make sure you don’t miss a less competitive rush at a less popular retailer.
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