5 things Xbox users need to know about online holiday shopping in 2020

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Seasons greetings, my fellow Xbox elves. 'Tis the season to be jolly and merry, apparently. 2020 will go down in the history books as one of the worst years in recent memory, but that doesn't mean we can't end it on a high note, maybe, possibly (?!).

Since November 2020, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have been hot items for the holiday season, alongside the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 5. Whether you're a new Xbox owner, an aspiring Xbox owner, or buying gifts for an Xbox owner, we thought we'd put together some nifty buyer's tips to get you through the neon nightmare that is Christmas holiday shopping. Buckle up, friends, and let's get this sleigh on the go.

1. Xbox Series X and S stock is very limited, but more is coming

Xbox Series S And X Together

Source: @_h0x0d_ (Image credit: Source: @_h0x0d_)

The Xbox Series X and Series S are almost universally sold out, as of writing. You can use our Xbox Series X and Series S stock checker to see if any consoles have come back into supply. Microsoft has said that Xbox Series X and Series S supplies will be on the low-end until Spring 2021 at the earliest, so better buckle in for a long winter if you were hoping to get one before then.

You can grab one from eBay, often at a significant markup from one of the evil scalpers that picked up stock early to exploit this exact situation. But we wouldn't recommend it 'cuz screw scalpers.

2. You can block your kids from purchasing games on their new consoles

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Some of my favorite tech horror stories are those that involve excited gamer kiddos and their parent's credit card details, alongside a whole heap of in-game purchases. Thankfully, if you did buy your little gamer boy or girl an Xbox console this Christmas, Microsoft has a pretty epic Microsoft Family Safety app ideal for locking down their consoles from purchasing. Not only that, but using this app, you can manage their online time, access to communicate online, and much more. Head over here for more info on how all of that works.

3. Xbox accessories make great gifts

Corsair Hs75 Xb Review

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Xbox experience isn't complete without great accessories, and the vast majority of accessories that worked on Xbox One consoles also work on Xbox Series S and X consoles. We have various round-ups of all the best Xbox Series X and Series S headsets to best Xbox Series X and Series S accessories ready and waiting for your perusal.

4. If you do order games and accessories, order early as possible

If you order one of the accessories from our roundups above, be sure to order it as soon as possible. With the pandemic still raging in certain countries, and the holiday mailing rush kicking into high gear, shipping delays are utterly inevitable.

5. Xbox games will be on sale digitally over the holidays

Finally, one fun thing about the holiday season is all the Christmas sales that Microsoft and their partners typically lay out to ring in the new year and to add value for all those new gamers who just picked up consoles for the first time. Instead of buying games outright, it might be worth buying Xbox Gift Cards instead, to take advantage of the sales during and right after the holidays. Be sure to take a look at our best Xbox games for kids and general best Xbox gamesarticles for gift ideas. And have yourself a peaceful holiday and an epic new year!

Xbox Series X/S


Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!