The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are out, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll note by now how hard they are to get. (Get a life, scalpers!) If you’re sticking to retail, you’ll need to scrounge up at least $300 to join the next generation of Xbox with the 1440p-donning Series S. The Xbox Series X, meanwhile, comes in at $500. If these figures mesh with your spirit, you’re probably wondering where you can secure one.
Sadly, that’s still a game of cat and mouse. Many stores had limited stock day one, but they sold out in minutes. You can keep checking the links at the various retailers above to see if luck is on your side, but one route you can take (if you don’t mind a steep upcharge) is StockX.
If you’re unfamiliar, StockX is like a supercharged eBay, but instead of fighting bidders for the best deal, you’ll just need to set your preferred price and wait for a seller to post a unit within range. They’ll then ship the console to StockX, and StockX ships to you. The match happens automatically, but you can also choose to buy the lowest offer available if you don’t want to wait.
Normally, this would net you a steal, but with how hot the latest Xbox consoles are right now, you’ll pay more than retail. Still, the average going rates for the Series S ($450) and Series X ($800) are much more reasonable than the $1,000+ listings you’ll find at eBay, Amazon, and others.
Hoping to snag one in time for the holidays? Things are still a bit rocky at the moment. Retailers have regularly restocked units since the flood gates first opened and (quickly) shuttered, but unless you’re eagle-eyed, quick on your feet, and have all the time in the world to stalk Twitter feeds 24/7, it still feels bleak out there.
The best thing you can do right now is sign up for retailer notifications (links below) and keep tabs on new opportunities by following the official Xbox Twitter account and those of the retailers. Keeping an eye on stock trackers should also be part of your gameplan.
We’re expecting to see more consoles available during Black Friday shopping events, so keep an eye out if you haven’t been able to secure one by then.
You can get a next-generation Xbox starting at just $300. That’s the cost for the Series S, which incidentally mimics a mini subwoofer. You’ll get the same games and equivalent GPU features for graphical fidelity and gaming performance, but this one is only ideal if you aren’t ready to graduate to 4K.
Those looking for the best possible experience will want the Xbox Series X, and Microsoft has confirmed it’ll start at $500. This is the same sticker price the Xbox One and Xbox One X had at launch, which is just fantastic considering how much of a performance bump you’re getting.
Both consoles are available via Microsoft’s Xbox All Access program, which hooks you up with hardware and Game Pass for one low monthly cost. If you’re gunning for the Series S, that’s $25 per month, and Series X buyers can opt for a $35 monthly charge, both over 24 months. That works out to $600 and $860 respectively in the long run, which is actually about $20 cheaper than rounding this all up at full retail. Oh, and Game Pass also now includes EA Play, which makes this deal even better.
As mentioned before, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S mostly differ at maximum resolution—the former will support 4K (2160p), while the latter targets 1440p at a maximum 120 frames per second for gaming.
You’ll still get 4K upscaling for games on the Xbox Series S, though, including support for DirectX raytracing, variable refresh rate, and it can stream video in full 4K in supported media apps.
But there are other differences, such as the fact that the Xbox Series S won’t have a disc drive and its SSD tops out at 512GB as opposed to 1TB on the beefier Series X.
We’ll need to wait for more hard info to see just how much graphical and performance parity we’re talking about between the two, but the Series S should provide a fully competitive next-gen gaming experience at an approachable price point.
It’s almost as hard to find Xbox Series X accessories right now as the console itself. Thankfully, most first-party Xbox One accessories will work just fine on the next gen models, including the $179 Xbox Elite Controller Series 2.
You can also grab an ordinary wireless controller if you’re not interested in spending triple digits.
You’ll also find that many of the latest headsets will work with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S out of the box, like the Astro A50 Wireless Gen 4 or Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro 2. Feel free to stock up on these things as you need ahead of the consoles’ arrival.
Microsoft’s aim with the latest console gaming generation is to maintain as much cross-platform functionality as possible. This means most games launching within the first year of the Series X’s debut will also be playable on Xbox One. The kicker? Many of those games will automatically look and play better when and if you decide to upgrade to a more powerful console. Those are called Smart Delivery games, and just for you, we’ve already highlighted all eligible titles you can pre-order or buy today.
Choice titles include Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Halo Infinite. Microsoft also dropped a bombshell announcement that it acquired Zenimax Studios, the umbrella covering studios like Bethesda, Arkane, and more. With the news, Microsoft announced that new games, hopefully including Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, will launch on Xbox Game Pass day one.
This post was originally published in September 2020 and updated with new information on 11/13/2020.