Today, Microsoft put up pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and Series S. They announced a date and time ahead of time, allowing people to prepare… but that may have been a bad idea.
Last week Sony put up the PlayStation 5 pre-orders and it went horribly wrong. There was no notice, Amazon orders were delayed, and some felt that they got suckered out of a chance to pre-order. Sony agreed that it was a disaster and even apologized. Microsoft saw this as an opportunity and announced that you could pre-order an Xbox on Tuesday, September 22nd at 8AM PT.
Once the time came, everyone woke up bright and early, prepared their credit cards, and were ready to go. Only it didn’t go as planned. We’ve constructed a timeline for you to follow the chaos.
Speed, performance, and compatibility, in two different sizes.
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 22, 2020
At 8AM PT, GameStop opened their doors to lines of customers but sold out within minutes. According to Jeff Grubb from GamesBeat, stores got between 5 – 10 Xbox Series X consoles and 2 – 4 Series S consoles. So, if you didn’t wake up at the break of dawn to go stand in a line, you weren’t going to get one in-store.
GameStop also updated their website to create a “virtual line”. This put people in a queue with a cheerful message, waiting for their turn to access the entire site. I personally never even got into their site after 15 minutes of waiting. Others reported success but it seems that it was more luck than anything.
At this same time, Walmart and Target put their links up on time but sold out almost instantly. Target’s website had an error where you could add it to the cart but it would vanish upon checkout. People on Twitter reported similar issues with Walmart’s checkout process. Many people were striking out and getting virtual blue balls from these online retailers.
Microsoft also had pre-order links up but their site crashed, making it temporarily impossible to pre-order. Meanwhile, Best Buy was nowhere to be found and Amazon had pictures of cute dogs instead of a pre-order button for the Xbox Series X.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) September 22, 2020
At around 8:30 AM PT, Sam’s Club put their Xbox Series X pre-orders live. It sold out in a minute and users were charged a $45 membership fee. At around 8:50 AM PT, Amazon removed the puppies and put up the Xbox Series X pre-order link. The console was only available through an alternate link posted by Wario64 but many reported success (myself included).
At 9:05 AM PT, Best Buy was the final major retailer to list the console. As expected, there were checkout issues for many users but some reported success an hour and a half later. While this happened, dozens of listings appeared on eBay for the Xbox Series X.
#XboxSeriesX Pre-Order Update
Microsoft: Site crashed instantly.
Amazon: Link still not working
Best Buy: “Coming Soon”
Target: Pre-Order Buttons worked, nothing to Cart
Walmart: Got through! BUT Out Of Stock on Final Checkout
Gamestop: In the queue: You’re my only hope… pic.twitter.com/ZgoJr9TyG2
— Brian Tong (@briantong) September 22, 2020
Some noted that the idea of telling everyone when they could pre-order was good on paper but bad in reality. There was plenty of speculation that bots were snagging the consoles as they knew where they could find the console at exactly what time. As of right now, eBay has over 3,300 results for Xbox Series X consoles. While we can’t verify how legit all of them are, we imagine there quite a few real ones.
Some are listing the Xbox Series X for up to $15,000. Others list it for a more reasonable price (by comparison) between $600 – $1,200. Some think Sony’s method of dropping randomly was far better than telling everyone where to be at what time, as it avoided some scalpers.
We have no idea what’s really “better” but at least next-gen is in full-swing. The next-generation of Xbox will release on November 10th and the PlayStation 5 will drop on November 12th. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on all the news leading up to the launch of next-gen. Games like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and more will launch alongside the new consoles.