Getting A PS5 Or Xbox Series S/X Is Sorta Easier 2 Years Later

Getting A PS5 Or Xbox Series S/X Is Sorta Easier 2 Years Later

An image of a shopping cart with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles flying into (or out of) it.

After two years on the market, you’d probably think picking up a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X would be easier now.

Of course, there is the shortage of semiconductors that the world still faces and a supply chain bottleneck that is expected to last until 2023 (otherwise 2024 according to some estimates). But, as Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan said at the annual PlayStation Partner Awards ceremony in Japan on December 2, the company apparently “fixed PlayStation 5 long term supply issuein Asian markets.

Oh yeah? So why, when Kotaku called several physical stores a few days before Christmas this year, were we told that inventory for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles was either very limited or completely sold out?

The truth is, while it’s gotten a little easier to get your hands on next-gen consoles, it still requires diligence and patience, unless you want the smaller, more S-Series cute, or you can wait for shipment. Otherwise, a bit like last yearif you were hoping to walk in and out of a store with a brand new console in your hand, you’re probably out of luck.

Inventory in physical stores is unreliable

Image of a woman shopping in a department store, with the shelves mostly empty except for PlayStation 5 controllers on the left and Xbox Series S consoles on the right.

You might be tempted to call your local brick-and-mortar retailer like Best Buy or GameStop in an attempt to purchase a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X from the store. It’s definitely a possibility, although it depends on the console you’re looking for.

A GameStop associate at a store in Manhattan, New York, told Kotaku by phone that Sony’s system was “rarely” in stock and sold out within a week. The Xbox Series X is “a little more mainstream,” the associate said, but the same inventory issue arises: when available, it sells out in just a few days. This situation is repeated at other physical stores, including Best Buy and Walmart, with associates from both retailers telling Kotaku in brief phone interviews that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are “occasionally” in stock but are selling out. rapidly.

Surprisingly, things are a little different at Target. A Manhattan store employee said the PlayStation 5 was actually on the shelves “right now,” but people looking to buy one couldn’t just walk in, bring one to the counter, and check it out. Instead, you have to make an in-store pickup via the company’s website and, if inventory was available, you can then walk in with cash and walk away with a PlayStation 5. In a jaw-dropping twist, the Xbox Series X was immediately available. The employee said that if I really wanted to, I could go and buy the console from Microsoft right away. They were quick to point out, however, that all system purchases, especially the PlayStation 5, were limited to one per person due to “security concerns”. Yeah.

Online retailers are a bit better, but not much

If physical stores are unreliable in terms of physical inventory, you may be more likely to buy a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X online and ship it to your doorstep. All major retailers usually have both consoles in stock and if they’re not available on their own, you can usually get them with a game or subscription. There are some exceptions here, of course. GameStopfor example, is completely sold out individual playstation5 and Xbox Series X online now. As if best buy to Playstation 5although you can order Xbox Series X if you have an account.

It’s always difficult to order something from Walmart, as the company tends to partner with third-party sellers to complete transactions. But, as I’m looking at the company’s website right now, playstation5 and Xbox Series X are mostly available for purchase online, although prices for these consoles seem to vary wildly. The target is just as strange, with both systems either be “paused for shipping” or relegated to in-store pickup only – if they’re even available at all, of course. A quick note here, though: you can also order the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X directly from sony and Microsoftofficial websites, and they seem to be in stock. Shipping here also appears to be on par with other major retailers, with past orders now arriving just days after Christmas. Not bad.

Hey, you can still get an Xbox Series S

A zoomed image of the Xbox Series S.

It’s so cute, even when zoomed in. Image: Microsoft

You may have noticed that I skipped an entire console: the Xbox Series S. That’s because, as I wrote earlier, Microsoft’s cheaper, smaller system is almost always available. Several brick-and-mortar store associates told Kotaku over the phone that they have “lots” of Xbox Series S on their shelves right now. And as I browsed several online retailers, including Microsoft’s own website, the thinner sister at the giant shoebox, the Xbox Series X was ready to order.

Of course it’s not the monstrous power plant it’s Xbox Series X. It can’t output native “true 4K” and only has four teraflops of processing power compared to the big sister’s 12. And yes, you only get 512GB of internal storage instead of 1TB. But what the system lacks in power it makes up for in its impressive form factor and accessible price. If you’re willing to make those minor compromises, the Xbox Series S is a great way to get into this current generation of console gaming.

Another year is in the books, y’all. We succeeded. The entertainment and tech industries are still impacted by both the ongoing pandemic and semiconductor shortages, but it looks like things are looking up a bit. Maybe this time next year the forecast for getting a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X will be significantly better. At the very least, we don’t have to worry about bots anymore.


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