What’s happened now that the Xbox Series X is easier to buy?

Xbox Series X and S stood side by side on a gray background.

Picture: Microsoft

After an astonishing 17 months since its release, Microsoft is the latest generation of Xboxes finally more readily available. As a result, the publisher sees its first good month for sales in a very long time, with the Xbox Series S and Series X making more money in March than even the Nintendo Switch.

In breaking business news, it turns out that if you have your product available, many more people will buy it. This is the revelation Microsoft has encountered now that the Xbox Series S and Series X are finally more likely to show up in stores, both physical and online. According to NPD’s sales data, this has led to Microsoft bringing in more money than its competitors in March 2022, despite the fact that the Switch has outperformed the Series S / X in terms of individual devices.

While finding a Series X can still prove an occasional ordeal, my box‘s checks this morning found them readily available via Best Buy. Meanwhile, the Series S was absolutely everywhere to buy at its standard price, from GameStop to Goal to Best buy to Walmart.

That Nintendo still beat Microsoft in terms of devices sold was probably thanks to the cheaper price of the Switch compared to the Series X combined with the Switch’s far more widespread availability.

Read more: The Xbox Series X is easy to buy for the first time in years

Meanwhile, these are apparently positive results hide an overall decline in hardware sales year-on-year, according to NPD’s Mat Piscatella. March total sales show a decrease of almost a quarter compared to 2021, a decrease of 24%, and the first quarter of 2022 shows an overall decrease of 15% compared to last year.

Piscatella wonders this may be a result of continued hardware shortages that meet “higher prices in other areas.” Or put another way, the cost of living crisis that is affecting so much of the world is finally catching up with video games.

Of course, poor old PlayStation has yet to see anything resembling the return of the Series X / S to the shelves, with PS5s still as rare as unicorns. Our checks of the same stores that have Series S for sale did not bring any joy to PlayStation 5.

It will be interesting to see if that can change in Q2 for 2022, especially as Sony launches its revamped PS Plus in an attempt to take on Microsoft’s all-time winning Game Pass. Without the machines to use it on (and also try to find a new PS4 – we can not), it will be much more of a struggle, especially when we enter a summer with sharply increased prices on household-based items.

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