Microsoft sending out Xbox Series X restock invitations — but there's a catch

Xbox Series X restock
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re still hunting for Xbox Series X restocks and have a Microsoft Store account, then you might want to check your email inbox because email invitations to buy a console are being sent out. 

Microsoft started this practice last year, and according to The Verge, the company is once again mailing select customers a unique link that offers the opportunity to purchase an Xbox Series X via the Microsoft Store. This is similar to Sony Direct, which regularly holds invite-only PS5 restocks to sidestep scalpers and get consoles into the hands of actual gamers.  

Unfortunately, unlike Sony Direct, which allows wannabe console owners to sign up for the chance to be emailed an invitation, these Xbox Series X restock invitations currently appear to be dished out entirely randomly. Microsoft isn’t offering a registration form or any sort of eligibility criteria. It looks like you’ve just got to keep your fingers crossed for an email.

And here's the catch

There’s also a fairly significant catch to these invitations as well. Microsoft is offering only the opportunity to buy an Xbox Series X bundle, rather than the console as a standalone. The bundle in question comes with a console, an extra controller and your choice of a single digital game.

Among the games you can pick from are Far Cry 6, Battlefield 2042 and Madden 22, all of which contribute $60 or $70 to the overall price of the bundle. This feels particularly unfair as each can be bought separately for $36, $45 and $21, respectively, in the ongoing Xbox Store sale. Even the cheapest option, GTA V, adds $30 to the bundle but is currently on sale by itself for $15.

This bundle is definitely less egregious than the $700+ bundles that we’ve seen at GameStop, which often have the cheek to include a GameStop Gift Card, but Microsoft is still forcing customers to buy extras they may not want.

The demand for Xbox Series X bundles appears to have declined quite dramatically in recent weeks. Previously, we’d seen pricey packages sell out at GameStop and Antonline in minutes, but during the most recent GameStop Xbox Series X restock the retailer’s pre-built bundle took multiple full days to finally sell out. 

If you haven’t received an invitation from Microsoft or would rather wait for the chance to score the console without any extras, make sure to bookmark our Xbox Series X restock hub. It’s updated daily with the latest stock updates and rumors, plus it has all the buying advice you need to score yourself a next-gen Xbox. 

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.