Why is the Xbox Series X so much easier to buy than a PS5? (2023)

By Tom Bailey


Series X stock is easy to find, but it's a different story for PS5

Why is the Xbox Series X so much easier to buy than a PS5? (1)
(Video) Here's Why It's Becoming Easier To Buy An Xbox Series X Than A PS5

Getting your hands on an Xbox Series X is easier than ever, and yet PS5 stock remains scarce. So what's Microsoft’s secret? Are its factories churning out more consoles? Or is simply that demand for the PS5 is higher? Here’s our take on why the Series X is (at the time of writing) much easier to buy than the PS5…

At first glance, the Xbox Series X and Sony PS5 are cut from the same cloth (or in this case, high-density polyethylene). Both launched in November 2020, both are assembled in China, and both are powered by next-gen AMD chips that have ushered in a new era of lightning-fast load times and 4K gaming.

Both machines sold out within hours of debuting and remained in short supply throughout last year. Then, as 2022 arrived, so did the Series X stock. By the truckload.

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Today, a quick search for "Xbox Series X" reveals a healthy supply at four UK retailers. Smyths Toys has the "Xbox ‘Series X 1TB Console" available in store for £449.99, with the option to click and collect that same day. Amazon (opens in new tab) and the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) also have units for sale when we look. The latter even stocks "Certified Refurbished" Xbox Series X consoles starting from $470 in the US and £420 in the UK (a 6 per cent saving on the usual RRP).

It’s just as easy to find Series X stock in the US now that Walmart offers regular Series X drops to anyone with a paid Walmart+ membership ($14.99 a month). The cheaper Xbox Series S, powered by a more modest AMD chip, is even more plentiful.

In fact, supply of the Series S has eased to such an extent in the US that some retailers have begun to discount the MSRP. In early March 2022, deals site Woot slashed $50 off the Series S, dropping the price to $249.99. By contrast, the PS5 console continues to change hands at the asking price (and sometimes more) on eBay.

OK, time to unravel this mystery. Microsoft has yet to confirm the precise reasons for the extra stock, but according to reputable analysts and our own research on the web, we think there are three big reasons why the Xbox Series X is so much easier to buy than the PS5…

1. Microsoft is winning the chip shortage war

The global chip shortage, which was caused by the 2020 pandemic and compounded by supply chain issues in 2021, is the reason why gamers struggled to find Xbox Series X and PS5 stock last year.

Fixing the problem will take a while yet – building a new chip factory can cost $20bn and take two years – but there is light at the end of the tunnel. In a January 2022 interview with The New York Times, Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft was "spending a lot of time thinking about how we move consoles from A to B location and securing chips".

Has Microsoft been airfreighting product into the country, as Sony did in November when it reportedly landed three planeloads of PS5s at Heathrow to bolster its UK Christmas stock? Spencer didn’t go into detail, but whatever logistics spell Microsoft has cast, it seems to be paying off.

(Video) Reasons To Buy Xbox Series X Over PS5 | Xbox Series X VS PS5 | Which Console Should YOU Buy?

According to Spencer, Xbox supply is now "as big as it's ever been".

Xbox analyst Nick Baker sheds more light on the story. He claims that last April, Microsoft invested heavily in chip production in order to secure future orders. In other words, Baker claims that the firm paid to prioritise chip production, which has resulted in healthier stock in both the UK and US.

"Money was the reason," Baker said, speaking on theXbox Erapodcast. "Microsoft paid, effectively, to increase their production and have more stock. To me, smart investment. This is the time to do it; people want stock. If you want more subscribers on Game Pass, you’re not going to get them if people can’t get the console."

Microsoft is known as M$ for a reason. And it looks like its chequebook might be paying dividends.

Though it's worth noting that the firm hasn't confirmed Baker's claims as yet. We reached out to Microsoft for comment, and will update this if we hear back.

2. Demand for the PS5 is higher

Historically, demand for Sony's latest and greatest games console has always been higher than for Microsoft's. Sure, the Xbox outsold the PS5 in both North America and Europe for the first time ever in February 2022, but that's likely a result of the Series X becoming more readily available.

The hard truth is that PlayStation 5 sales were 1.7 times greater than Xbox Series X/S sales in 2021. Indeed, most reputable analysts expect the PS5 to outsell the Xbox Series X by 2 to 1 in 2022.

So, what does the PS5 have that the Series X doesn't? Both machines are evenly matched and some might argue that the Series X has the edge as it offers more than 100 titles optimised for Dolby Vision HDR (the PS5 makes do with regular HDR10 support).

Ultimately, it all boils down to brand loyalty. PlayStation began winning the hearts of minds of gamers back in 1994 – a full seven years before the first Xbox arrived on the scene. It's one reason why sales of the PS4 currently stand at 115.79 million units – more than double the Xbox One’s 50.19 million.

The upside to the PS5's pulling power? It's easier to hunt down an Xbox Series X.

  • Our pick of the best PS5 games to play right now

3. PS5 restocks are still targeted by scalpers

The rarer the PS5 is, the more attractive it is to scalpers – and the more those precious PS5 restocks are targetted by scalpers and bots. It's a cycle that's continued since launch.

(Video) PS5 Vs Xbox Series X: 2 Years Later! (Which Is Better?)

So far, Sony seems unable to keep enough consoles on the shelf to break this cycle and satisfy demand. With experienced scalpers – folks who snap-up multiple consoles to resell online at usurious markups – rumoured to be making around $3,000 (around £2300 / AU$4200) a month in the US, the situation is unlikely to resolve itself.

A quick look on eBay confirms far fewer Xbox Series X consoles for sale on the online marketplace. Prices for the Xbox have fallen much closer to retail. It's clear that the Sony PS5 is still the hot ticket for scalpers, since it can still command a relatively high markup.

Now you can walk into a lot of places and pick up an Xbox Series X, and with supplies growing more plentiful by the day, it does appear that Microsoft has broken the stock shortage cycle once and for all (fingers crossed).

  • Best Xbox Series X games 2022: stunning pictures and sound

So there you have it. Three solid reasons why the Xbox Series X is much easier to find than the PS5. The good news for gamers of all stripes? AMD, which makes the chips in both flagship games consoles, has promised to increase chip production in 2022 and predicts a "strong" year for both Sony and Microsoft.

Xbox certainly seems to have got its act (and supply chain) together, we just hope PlayStation can follow suit in the coming months.


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(Video) Xbox Series X Vs. PS5 - Two Years Later, Which Is Better?

Tom Bailey

Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.

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    (Video) 10 reasons to BUY XBOX instead of PS5, Switch or PC! 🔥🚀🤯


    Is Xbox Series X better than a PS5? ›

    The Xbox Series X has a more powerful GPU, capable of 12 teraflops of computing power compared to 10.3 teraflops on PS5. The Xbox Series X also has a slightly faster CPU at 3.8GHz than the PS5's 3.5GHz CPU. Other than that, though, the systems are a close match when it comes to power.

    Is Xbox Series X harder to get than PS5? ›

    Getting your hands on an Xbox Series X is easier than ever, and yet PS5 stock remains scarce. So what's Microsoft's secret? Are its factories churning out more consoles?

    Why you should buy a PS5 over Xbox Series X? ›

    Exclusive PS5 titles are the best showcase for new gaming technology. PS5 boasts a growing list of exclusive titles that aren't available on Xbox or computers — like God of War: Ragnarok, Gran Turismo 7, Horizon: Forbidden West, Returnal, and Demon's Souls — and they all serve as great showcases for new gaming tech.

    Is PS5 worth it 2023? ›

    The PS5 is only getting better, folks. With the release of PSVR 2 and the DualSense Edge controller also, the already feature-rich console is being expanded dramatically. There has never been a better time than the present to purchase a PS5. It is definitely worth it.

    Which gaming console is best? ›

    Why we picked the PlayStation 5: With lightning-fast load speeds, a new controller, and a phenomenal lineup of titles (including fan favorites and new exclusives), the PS5 is the best plug-and-play gaming platform available.

    Is it worth buying a PS5 for $700? ›

    This will be a quick answer. If you absolutely feel you can no longer wait for stock to arrive online at a Walmart, Amazon or Best Buy, yes $700 is about $50 below the average asking price right now for a PS5. I presume it is the disk version because the diskless model is going for around $650 on average.

    Is PS5 overkill? ›

    no it is not overkill.. i gamed with my ps5 on a 1440p monitor (meaning my PS5 was running at 1080p since it doesn't support 1440p like Xbox) and i was very pleased with how games looked on it.

    How long before PS5 is obsolete? ›

    But starting with the PS3 and Xbox 360, things started to change. Which makes me wonder, how long could the current generation of game consoles last?
    SystemNA ReleaseYears between
    3 more rows
    May 3, 2018

    Which is no 1 game in the world? ›

    What PC Games Are People Playing Right Now?
    Game titlePublisher
    1.MinecraftMojang Studios
    2.Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II/Warzone 2.0Activision Publishing
    3.The Sims 4Electronic Arts
    4.ROBLOXRoblox Corporation
    16 more rows

    What is the number 1 console? ›

    PlayStation 2

    Which console to buy 2023? ›

    The PlayStation 5 delivers the most stunning graphics and seamless performance of any current-gen console. The PlayStation 5 delivers the most stunning graphics and seamless performance of any current-gen gaming console.

    Which controller is better Xbox or Playstation? ›

    Ergonomics. Both controllers feel great in hand, with the Dualsense controller being the larger of the two. The Xbox Series X shape is time-tested and proven, while the Dualsense is Sony's best shape yet.

    Is the Xbox Series S worth it? ›

    Despite coming in at a super low price point in comparison, the Series S can play all the same games as the more expensive Xbox Series X. As well as saving money, you'll also save on shelf space - the Xbox Series S is completely disc-less so you need to buy all your games digitally.

    Which has more games Xbox or Playstation? ›

    The PS4 has just over 2,000, of which over 299 are PS4 exclusives, while the Xbox One has about nearly 2,000 games – with less half the number of exclusives the PS4 has.

    How much more powerful is PS5? ›

    By contrast, the PS5's GPU is rated for 10.3 TFLOPs. Referring to that single number, the PS5's GPU is roughly eight times more powerful than the PS4 and two and a half times more powerful than the PS4 Pro. Sony is able to achieve such high performance because of the PS5's 36 CUs and higher clock speed.

    Why the Xbox controller is the best? ›

    Xbox Wireless Controller

    But the standard-issue Xbox pad isn't just great because of its connectivity. The hardware itself is excellent for the controller's $60 asking price. The sticks, buttons, triggers, and the sunken dish-shaped D-pad all feel impeccably tight, with the latter having a satisfying clickiness to it.

    Are Xbox controllers worth it? ›

    The Xbox Wireless Controller has seen some improvements over the years, but its most recent is the best yet. The Xbox Series X|S gamepad offers a more premium feel without the price tag, with improved tactile textures and refined geometry resulting in a more accessible and comfortable gaming experience.

    Is Xbox Series S just as powerful? ›

    The Series X is designed for games with resolutions of up to 4K (and it theoretically supports 8K resolutions for video content), while the Xbox Series S has less-powerful graphics hardware that game developers appear to be targeting for 1080p and sometimes 1440p visuals.

    Are they getting rid of the Xbox Series S? ›

    Microsoft has officially discontinued production of all Xbox One/S/X consoles.

    Is Series S really next-gen? ›

    The Series S is a next-gen machine in all the ways that count: specifically, its super-fast NVME storage and robust CPU, both of which are basically identical to its bigger brother, and on a par with the PS5 in terms of raw numbers.

    Which is more powerful Xbox or PS5? ›

    Both consoles are quite similar in terms of specs, but there is one that has an edge over the other. Both have 8-Core CPUs from AMD, but the Xbox Series X just exceeds the PS5 with 3.86GHz compared to 3.5GHz.

    What is more popular Xbox or PS5? ›

    PS5 vs Xbox Series X sales show a close fight. Microsoft's console is around one million units behind PS5 overall but up 36.4% in 2022 compared to 2021 figures, according to VGCgartz (opens in new tab).

    Is there more Xbox or PS5 players? ›

    Microsoft does not go into detail on its mental arithmetic here, but does note elswhere in its comments that PlayStation currently has a console install base of 150 million, compared to Xbox's install base of 63.7 million.

    Does a PS5 drain lot of electricity? ›

    , newer game consoles, such as Sony's PS5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X, draw between 160 and 200 watts of electricity when they are used with new-generation games. They are much more powerful than previous models, such as the Xbox One, which requires 112 watts, or the PS4, which uses 137 watts of electricity.

    Is PS5 best console ever? ›

    The PS5 is a genuine leap forward for console gaming, offering gorgeous 4K performance, stunningly fast load times and a truly game-changing controller that makes playing games more immersive and tactile than ever. It plays nearly all PS4 games, and, in many cases, allows them to run and load better than ever before.


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