Even Microsoft is struggling with Xbox Series X restocks

an image of a hand stretched towards an Xbox Series X
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Scoring an Xbox Series X restock is so difficult right now that even Microsoft is having issues getting hold of its own next-gen console. In fact, the stock shortage has reached such a crisis point that participants at the first major Halo Infinite tournament held over the weekend were forced to play on development kits instead of actual consoles. 

This story was originally picked up by Kotaku after Tashir Hasandjekic, esports and viewership lead at Halo developer 343 Industries, tweeted that some players at the game’s maiden competitive tournament would need to play on Xbox Series X development consoles.

A development console consists of the same hardware as a retail unit and is traditionally used by developers to create games for the system. They aren’t usually available to the general public but are functionally identical to a standard console. As Hasandjekic pointed out the dev kits used in the tournament were set to “retail” mode to ensure that no player was able to access the console’s backend or gain an advantage.

Hasandjekic wasn’t sheepish in confirming the reason for needing to draft in additional development consoles either. He said: “Why? Global supply chain shortage is real.” It would appear that even the manufacturer of the Xbox Series X is struggling to win the restock game. 

The Xbox Series X has been experiencing stock shortages since its launch in November 2020. At no point in the past 12 months has the console been consistently available. Currently, getting hold of a next-gen Xbox involves serious dedication to tracking restocks and a sprinkle of good fortune. These supply issues are thanks in large part to the ongoing global chip shortage and look set to persist deep in 2022. 

If you desperately want an Xbox Series X before the holiday then GameStop will be holding an in-store restock this week. This will likely be one of the final chances to buy one in 2021. If your local store isn’t participating in this drop, make sure to bookmark our Xbox Series X restock hub for the latest updates and those all-important retailer links. 

Xbox Series X restock tracker — where to look

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.