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Xbox Series X and Series S preorders were just as chaotic as PS5 preorders

Published Sep 23rd, 2020 10:31AM EDT
Xbox Series X preorders
Image: Microsoft

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  • Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders began on September 22nd, but many people had trouble securing the new consoles as everyone rushed to preorder at once.
  • Xbox Series X and Series S preorders are now sold out at every major retailer, and we don’t know when or if Microsoft will make more preorders available.
  • Microsoft says that more consoles will be available at launch on November 10th.

In a year when home entertainment has been one of the few refuges from a pandemic, it should come as no surprise that new game consoles would sell out in record time. Over the past week, preorders for the PS5, PS5 Digital Edition, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S have all begun, and while Sony and Microsoft had different strategies, the results were similar: Chaos and confusion reigned as consumers struggled to secure the consoles.

Admittedly, Sony’s plan to let retailers have free rein and start offering preorders just hours after the price and release date were announced was the more perplexing of the two, and resulted in Sony offering an apology on its PlayStation Twitter account. But based on multiple reports and my own Twitter timeline, Microsoft’s organized plan of setting up a specific time for preorders to begin was similarly problematic as everyone rushed to preorder at once.

As IGN reported on Tuesday, some of the biggest US retailers seemed to buckle under the weight of everyone who was trying to preorder an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. DownDetector showed that Best Buy, Target, and Amazon were all experiencing problems as preorders opened up on Tuesday morning, while GameStop was giving visitors an “Access Denied” error message and the Microsoft Store showed a 503 error code.

Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly a smooth process, and as of Wednesday morning, preorders are sold out at every major retailer in the country, from the ones mentioned above to Walmart, Sam’s Club, Newegg, and every other site I’ve checked. Thankfully, if you want a new Xbox but didn’t lock in a preorder, you aren’t completely out of luck, as Microsoft said in a tweet last night that more consoles will be available at launch on November 10th:

Although there are certain to be more opportunities to spend between $300-$500 on a next-generation Xbox, a recent report from GamesBeat might be cause for concern as Xbox Series X and Series S preorder allocations at GameStop stores were significantly lower than those for the two PS5 models. Microsoft might just be playing it safe and ensuring that it can move all of the consoles that it makes, but with all of the hurdles that needed to be overcome to launch a new console in the middle of a pandemic, it’s possible that low stock could be an issue this fall.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.