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Is there hope for finding an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 this Christmas?

Gaming consoles are often on the list of must-have for tweens and teens during the holiday season. Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are the latest models of the popular gaming consoles. Both were released in November 2020, but were hard to come by last Christmas. This year supply chain issues are forecasted to cause shipping delays for many of the gifts kids want under the tree. With many missing out on the latest edition of Xbox or PlayStation in 2020, those items are at the top of quite a few parents’ holiday shopping lists for 2020. With Black Friday and the holiday shopping season almost upon us, what are the chances of scoring an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 for Christmas this year?

teens having fun playing video games
Pixel Shot/Shutterstock

Avoid scams

Since the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are in hot demand, price gauging is a very real possibility when shopping for one during the upcoming holiday season. A basic Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will run buyers around $500. Of course, that doesn’t include extras like a subscription, additional controllers, and a headset. But when you are seeing prices for these gaming consoles in the thousands, that is a huge red flag.

Another tip to avoid being scammed when trying to purchase an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 is to stick to reputable online retailers like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, GameStop, the Microsoft Store, and Amazon. While it may seem like a dream come true to snag a brand new or gently used Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 off of a seller on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, the reality just might be more of a nightmare. During the Christmas rush in 2020, some police departments warned residents via social media to be wary of scalpers and scammers selling coveted PlayStation 5s through online markets including Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

Odds of finding an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 this holiday season

Both Xbox and Sony are telling customers that even a year after the Series X and PS5s debuted to the gaming community, the consoles will be hard to come by for the 2021 Christmas rush. Of course, finding one is not impossible, but it will require patience and a bit of persistence. Even so, parents should have a fallback present in mind in case they’re unable to purchase either system. With that being said, here’s what to try.

Sony’s registration program

In October, almost a year after Sony released the PS5, the company announced a registration program through its website to give shoppers an opportunity to purchase a PlayStation 5 from the company. Registering doesn’t guarantee you will get the PS 5 in time for the holidays though. Only a select number of people registering will receive an email with the information to purchase a PS5 directly from Sony. Like playing the lottery, it is worth a shot. Customers wanting to try the registration program can head to PlayStation’s website for additional information and to register.

Xbox is not offering a registration program, but it does let you check the availability of the Series X console through its website. When you click on the Check Availability icon, the resulting webpage shows if the console is in stock at Microsoft, GameStop, Walmart, Target, or Antonline.

A person doing holiday shopping on their laptop with presents all around them.

Restocking

Popular gaming retailers such as Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and the Microsoft Store have been offering online restocks. The restocks have been selling out quite quickly though, leaving anxious holiday shoppers frustrated. While extremely difficult, according to YahooNews, more than 16 million consumers have been able to buy either the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X over the past year. This fact does give people some hope, especially with helpful restock trackers online to help keep tabs on when these consoles are going to have a limited restock. CNetTech offers a restock tracker which is frequently updated, letting consumers know when Walmart, Target, and Best Buy will have a limited number of PS5s available.

Join a membership program

Another way to try and get a restocking of either the Xbox Series X or the PlayStation 5 is to join a membership program for the retailer selling the consoles. One of the perks of being a member includes getting early access to restocks. Walmart Plus announced in October that members would be able to get early access to a PS5 restock. A Walmart Plus membership has a 15-day free trial and costs $12.95 per month or $98 a year. Other popular gaming retailers like GameStop and Best Buy offer similar programs. GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards membership is $15 for the year as compared to Best Buy’s TotalTech which is $200 for an annual membership.

Amazon’s Treasure Truck

If you haven’t heard of Amazon’s Treasure Truck, you’re probably not alone. This program sends text alerts for those coveted things on wish lists like an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5. It’s free to sign up, so it’s worth a try.

Is there hope of wrapping a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X for your gamer this holiday season? Yes, there’s always hope, but it won’t be easy given the issues impacting sales. Both companies say the supply is limited. To avoid being scammed, stick to reputable online retailers instead of Craigslist. Keeping a close watch on restocks at popular gaming sellers like Walmart and GameStop or joining a membership program is key to buying a system for the holidays. Either option just may help you score a system.

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