It seems an extraordinary thing for it to be a news story that, one-and-a-half years after release, you can buy an Xbox. But we live in extraordinary times, and right now is the first time the Xbox Series X has ever been easily available. You can just buy one! You know, if you have a spare $500.
Ever since the Xbox Series’ launch in November 2020, the X has been close to impossible to buy. Those who pre-ordered were the lucky ones, and ever since it’s been a game of desperately trying to beat scalpers and bots to the scant supplies sporadically popping up at various outlets. A combination of greater demand thanks to covid lockdowns, and the global chip shortage, has meant demand has far outstripped supply on both the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles for well over a year.
But today, if you went to say Amazon, or Walmart, you can just buy an Xbox Series X. Like, click the button, and get it delivered. Goodness knows how long this will last, but for now, at least, a weird sense of normality has settled on one aspect of our lives.
The Series X’s little sister, the Series S, has been slightly easier to get hold of for a while. Oddly, in places like the UK it’s been readily available for most of the last year, but far harder to secure in the States. But that too can be reasonably easily bought now, for $300. (And if you don’t care about 4K, blimey, I’ve never noticed a single issue with mine, beyond the tiny SSD.)
However, it seems the PlayStation 5 has yet to see the same opportunities. Despite the 17 months since its release, we’re still seeing news stories popping up announcing they might be for sale somewhere, only to be updated to say, “Er, nope.”
It really is quite the most extraordinary thing that major consoles, for which billion-dollar games are being launched, are completely impossible to buy this long after launch. But perhaps we’ve turned a corner for one of them? Or maybe I’ll be adding some update text to this exact post in a couple of hours...