Xbox Series X and S shortages could last till April warns Microsoft

You may not be able to buy a next gen Xbox until Easter next year, as Microsoft apologies for the current lack of stock.

The Xbox Series X and S were released on November 10 but right now it’s impossible to buy them anywhere. That’s not unusual for any new console, especially when they’re released just before Christmas, but it seems the shortages may last much longer than expected.

Some might dismiss this as Microsoft trying to artificially increase demand, but the revelation was made by Xbox’s chief financial officer Time Stuart, who was answering a boring business question and not trying to hype up sales.

‘I think we’ll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter, so Microsoft’s Q3, calendar Q1’, he said at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

Stuart then added that Microsoft will be going, ‘full speed heading into kind of the pre-summer months’, because why use the word spring when you can say pre-summer.

As a result, he predicts that supply will only meet demand between April and June 2021, although it’s unlikely that the consoles will be scarce at that point – you just won’t be able to guarantee you can get them at a moment’s notice.

What Stuart didn’t do is explain why Microsoft is having so much trouble meeting demand, especially as they’ve not made any suggestion that the coronavirus is causing major problems with production; although it no doubt is making delivery to retailers more difficult (which is why the PlayStation 5 didn’t come out in Europe at the same time as the rest of the world).

Microsoft has already made it clear that they won’t release sales figures for the new console, just as they haven’t for the Xbox One, but they have revealed that the Xbox Series X/S was the most successful Xbox launch ever.

No doubt Sony will be saying the same about the PlayStation 5 when the European launch begins on Thursday, November 19, which will make it difficult to tell how well the two consoles are doing in comparison to each other.

Microsoft’s reason for not releasing sales figures though is that it now considers consoles to be only one part of its overall Xbox strategy, and given the importance of Game Pass, increased PC support, and the fact that xCloud will undoubtedly become more important over time that seems perfectly reasonable.

So does all this mean you won’t be able to buy an Xbox Series X/S this year? No, not necessarily. More stock is guaranteed to turn up before Christmas and while it may be limited, and you’ll have to make a special effort to catch it before it sells out, you’ve not yet missed your chance.

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