Microsoft expects Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S may have limited availability until April 2021

Xbox Series S And Series X
Xbox Series S And Series X (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox Series X|S are Microsoft's next-gen consoles, and are officially released into the video game wild.
  • However, plenty of interested people have been unable to secure a console of their own, with sporadic supplies from retailers.
  • Reportedly, Microsoft expects these shortages to continue throughout the holiday season and into next year.
  • The reason for the shortages is simply due to unprecedented demand, with more people than ever gaming at home.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are both here, and they're certainly impressive machines capable of incredible gaming experiences, but that's only if you're able to find one. Since they're launch on November 10, it's been nearly impossible to find a reliable source of Microsoft's next-gen gaming consoles, and even those who preordered from massive retailers like Amazon are being told their orders can be delayed. We've been keeping track of the best places to look for an Xbox Series X|S, but any stock that appears is rather short-lived.

According to a talk at the Jeffries Interactive Entertainment Conference with Tim Stuart, the CFO at Xbox (via VGC), Stuart expects these supply shortages to last until until possibly as late as April 2021, with new-console hype and increased video game interest ensuring supplies will dry up quickly heading into the bustling holiday season. Once outside of the holiday season, and with months of production under its belt, Microsoft should expect to see improvements.

"I think we'll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter, so Microsoft's Q3, calendar Q1," Stuart said. 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.

"We'll have supply cranking over the next, what, 4, 5, 6 months. And that's when I expect to see really that demand profile start to be met, which will be really, really great," he added.

This confirms what Liz Hamren, the Xbox experiences and platform lead, wrote in a blog post late last week. "We know that not everyone was able to get an Xbox Series X|S immediately and are working tirelessly with our partners around the world to bring as many new consoles to as many of you as possible over time and encourage you to check in with your local retailers directly for more details on availability in your market," she wrote.

However, what both Stuart and Hamren said was that Microsoft is still seeing a lot of success. Stuart said in the talk that "gaming is just exploding." Hamren confirmed that the Xbox Series X|S had the "most successful debut in our history."

Sony's Playstation 5 also came out last week, two days after the Xbox Series X|S, and is seeing similar struggles maintaining availability for interested players. With every metric up in video games over the last year and an unprecedented surge in interest for new consoles, both companies will have limited supplies, at least for the first few months. If you have yet to secure an Xbox Series X|S of your own, consider getting set up with one of the Best TV's for the Xbox Series X|S in the meantime, that way you can enjoy the incredible visuals of next-gen consoles when yours does arrive.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.