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This is bad news for anyone who wants an Xbox Series X or Series S

Published Nov 17th, 2020 2:10PM EST
Image: Microsoft

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  • Microsoft says that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S supply will struggle to meet demand throughout the holiday season and into the first quarter of 2021.
  • Xbox Series X and Series S consoles probably won’t be in stock regularly until April 2021.
  • Microsoft made it clear from the outset that finding a console at launch would be difficult.

The next generation of gaming has officially arrived, as both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launched last week. Unfortunately, unless you managed to secure a preorder back in September, chances are that you have had a difficult time finding a console to purchase in stores or online. In fact, some customers who did manage to preorder a console have since had their preorders canceled as Sony and Microsoft struggle to meet demand.

These supply shortages were predictable, especially considering that the two companies are attempting to build and ship millions of units in the middle of a pandemic. This was never going to be a smooth process, and while consoles have been popping in and out of stock, Microsoft says it will be months before the supply chain starts running at full speed and the company is able to meet the overwhelming demand for its new consoles.

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“You wish you had supply to meet the huge demand,” Xbox CFO Tim Stuart said at a conference last week. “I think what we’ve seen over the last generation and then heading into now is — and part of this demand profile is, frankly, gaming is just exploding. It’s a $200 billion a year industry. And so kids, adults, male, female, young, old, whatever it is, are games. And so that drives that demand profile, which we love to see.”

“I think we’ll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter, so Microsoft’s Q3, calendar Q1,” Stuart added. “And then when we get to Q4, all of our supply chain continuing to go full speed heading into kind of the pre-summer months.” Based on these comments, it sounds like we shouldn’t expect to see Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles in stock consistently until at least April of next year.

Microsoft’s messaging was relatively clear from the beginning, as The Verge notes. “We’re gonna have more demand than we do supply, and I’ll apologize in advance to people for that,” Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, said on the Dropped Frames podcast a few weeks ago. “We’ve been building them for almost two months and trying to get as many into the stores as we can, but the demand is just so high,” he added at Glitchcon over the weekend.

In the meantime, Xbox Series X and Series S consoles will inevitably come back into stock here and there throughout the holiday season, but you’re probably going to need to follow a few Twitter accounts and set up an email alert or two if you want a next-generation console before the end of the year.

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.