Not to be the bearer of bad news here folks, but... it might be hard to get your hands on an Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Even for those who pre-ordered. Not everybody that ordered early might actually get the next-gen console on the release date. What’s going on? How do you even get your hands on the new Xbox? What do you need to know? We got you!
The Xbox Series X / S pre-order situation is... not smooth. Not smooth at all. Granted, the PS5 situation is basically the same. Too much demand resulted in not enough supply and now gamers are in a situation where they might not even get their hands on the new Xbox when it releases on November 10...
The Xbox Series X & S pre-order situation is particularly tricky though, because there are a couple of things to check... a number of pre-order safety checks:
Xbox Series Pre-Order Check #1: Did you order the right Xbox?
This is not a joke: A lot of those who pre-ordered, ordered the Xbox One X by accident. The day that the Xbox Series X went up for pre-orders, orders for the Xbox One X went up by almost 800% on Amazon. Yup... this is true. If you have family members or friends that are not so gaming savvy, it might be worth double-checking just what they actually ordered for the Holidays. Else, you or somebody you know might have the wrong present waiting under the Christmas tree.
Xbox Series Pre-Order Check #2: Xbox Series S is NOT 4K and needs extra storage
This one is quite important: The Xbox Series S is significantly weaker than the Xbox Series X! The cheaper price ($299) comes at a serious performance cost: The Xbox Series S does not run at 4k, It is capped at 1440p, it does not have a disc drive and is an entirely digital system with only 500 GB storage. Now, you might think you can just get an external drive, but you can't: As of now, you need Microsoft's own and very expensive 1 TB expandable storage – other expandable storages are not compatible with the Xbox Series S & X. This is quite significant, since Microsoft's expandable storage is priced at $219.99! Yup... Consider that Warzone is already 120 GB and do the maths from there. Only with Microsoft's own storage, can you run games directly from the external drive.
Our tip: Get any external drive and store the games you are not actively playing on there. Unfortunately, you can't play them off the drive and you'll have to re-install them. You'll have to keep your Series S tidy and you'll only have a limited number of immediately playable games on there. On the other hand, getting the Series S and the 1 TB expandable storage would cost you $420 for what is essentially a less powerful Xbox with 1.5 TB storage. At that point you might just as well get the more powerful Xbox Series X with 1 TB for $499.
Xbox Series Pre-Order Check #3: You can finance the Xbox with All Access
If you are not entirely financially fluid, then maybe buying a next-gen system is not the right choice. BUT: We're not gamers to make financially responsible decisions, so... here's the deal: Xbox All Access is a financing service where you pay $15 / $25 a month for 24 months. For that money, you get Xbox Series S ($15) or Xbox Series X ($25) as well as Game Pass. Now, Game Pass includes over a hundred games - including Halo - for free and it has xCloud, which lets you stream your Xbox games on PC, tablet and phone. On top of that, EA Play is also included, which has a lot of EA games (duh...). It's a pretty solid deal for a monthly price that doesn't hurt the wallet as much as a $300 or $500 one-time purchase. So... if you didn't know, now you know.
Xbox Series Pre-Order Check #4: Amazon is canceling pre-orders
Amazon themselves have sent emails to pre-orderers (is that a word? If not, it should be) that they might not get their systems on time:
“We're contacting you about your order of (PlayStation 5/Xbox Series X/S) to let you know in advance that you may not receive this item on the day it is released due to high demand. We are making every effort with the supplier to procure more inventory. We will provide additional updates once more information becomes available.”
If a super-company like Amazon tells you that, despite knowing it'll cost them money... you know it’s real. Call us conspirators, but this smells like big delays are upon us. Honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised if pre-orders don’t even make it in time for the Holidays. Should you try your luck at the store then? Well... this is the year of the Coronavirus and stores will not be able to accommodate masses of hopeful buyers. Actually, if Microsoft were to supply stores, that would almost seem like tempting the virus... like throwing live-meat to a horde of starved zombies. Honestly: You probably won’t be able to just walk into a store and just buy an Xbox Series X. So… back to the canceled pre-orders, then, huh?