The Xbox is one of the most successful gaming consoles of all time. And you would expect the same from its latest releases, the Series X and Series S. And while both consoles have been well received and hailed (alongside the PlayStation 5) as the future of gaming, they haven’t been that easy to play.
Namely, they’ve been largely out of stock at most retailers.
The Xbox Series X and Series S have been difficult to find in-store and online alike, but why is that? And is there any chance of that changing soon?
Canstar takes a look at why it’s so hard to get an Xbox console, and where you can buy an Xbox Series X or S.
Is the Xbox Series X and S available in New Zealand?
Yes. Both the Xbox Series X and S are available in New Zealand, and have been since November 2020. But they have been fairly difficult to get. Although, to Microsoft’s credit, not quite as difficult as the PlayStation 5.
Why is it so hard to get an Xbox?
Unfortunately, the Xbox falls under the large umbrella of products that require semiconductor chips. An umbrella that spans nearly all electronics and even much of the medical and automotive industries. And, currently, the world is facing a semiconductor chip shortage. In turn, this is leading to a shortage of many products that require them.
Including, the new Xbox consoles.
What is causing the shortage?
To no one’s surprise, the shortage is largely a result of the pandemic.
Covid-19 has caused delays in nearly all areas of the manufacturing process. Workforces are reduced; power shortages in China are shuttering factories; Covid outbreaks are forcing staff to halt work and isolate; and ports are facing bottlenecks and backlogs. To make things worse, we’re shopping online more than ever, driving up the demand of an already overworked sector.
And to top it off, semiconductor chips are in growing demand, too, with more and more products continuously incorporating them. So, even factories that are able to continuously operate at full capacity are not able to keep up.
When will the shortage end?
No one can really say for sure. Although global supply issues are easing, bottlenecks and the lingering effects of the pandemic remain. Initially, it was expected to be more or less resolved by mid-2021. That’s now passed and semi conductor chips remain in short supply. The US is even telling consumers to be prepared for shortages of many popular products come Christmas.
China has, however, reported chip production is up. So, optimistically, the worst may be behind us.
But overall, the shortage is expected to carry on into next year before returning to normal. And nobody can really say for sure.
How much does an Xbox cost?
Xbox Series X: $799*
Xbox Series S: $548*
*Prices should be considered a guide only and not an official quote.
→Related article: Xbox Series X vs. PlayStation 5: The Battle of the Super Specs
What’s the difference between an Xbox Series X and Series S?
The Xbox Series X is the newest top-of the line Xbox and the direct competitor of the PlayStation 5. The Xbox Series S is a dialed down Series X, but still boasts many of the same features.
The biggest difference of note is that the Xbox Series S comes without a disc drive, much like the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. So if you are old school and enjoy collecting physical copies of games, it won’t be the device for you. You can see a full breakdown of the specs below:
|Specs||Xbox Series X||Xbox Series S|
|Disk Drive||Ultra HD Blu-ray||No|
|CPU||Custom AMD Zen 2
8 Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz with SMT)
|Custom AMD Zen 2
8 Cores @ 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz with SMT)
|GPU||Custom RDNA 2
52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz
|Custom RDNA 2
20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz
|GPU Power||12.15 TFLOPS||4TFLOPS|
|RAM||16GB GDDR6 RAM
10GB @ 560 GB/s
6GB @ 336 GB/s
|10GB GDDR6 RAM
8GB @ 560 GB/s
2GB @ 336 GB/s
|Performance Target||4K @ 60 FPS up to 120 FPS||1440p @ 60 FPS up to 120 FPS|
|Exapandable Storage||1TB Expansion Card||1TB Expansion Card|
Where to buy the Xbox Series X/S in New Zealand
Spark’s Xbox All Access Deal
Spark currently offers a promotion where you can buy an Xbox Series X or S, with an Xbox Game Pass, on a 24-month plan. And as you can see below, it may be one of the only retailers that have any Xbox stock at all! Somehow Telco provider Spark has managed to secure more stock than many gaming and electronics retailers across the country!
There are a few important things to note:
- The Xbox Series X is currently unavailable. But the Series S is available to purchase online
- The deal requires you to join a Spark Essential Fibre or Max Fibre plan on a 24-month term
- The console is paid for monthly, not upfront, over a 24-month period
You can visit the Spark website for full terms and conditions.
→ Related article: Get an Xbox Series X or S with Spark’s Xbox All Access Deal
While the Xbox has been hard to find, and is sold out across many retailers, it is still possible to buy new and in-store here in New Zealand (and not just at Spark!). While the PS5 has largely vanished from view – removed from websites altogether – many retailers still show listings for the two new Xbox consoles. However, availability is limited.
We recommend signing up for newsletters to be in the know about upcoming restocks. Keep in mind, however, that unless specified these are general newsletters that will contain information, sales, and promotions on a wide range of products, not only Xbox restocks.
- EB Games – No listing or mentions of Xbox Series X or S consoles
- NZ Game shop – No listing or mentions of Xbox Series X or S consoles
- JB Hi-Fi – No listing or mentions of Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series S is listed for sale in-store only. But there is no further information about in-store availability. Check with your local JB HiFi store
- Noel Leeming – No listing or mentions of Xbox Series X or S consoles
- Harvey Norman – No listing or mentions of Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series S is listed for sale in-store only, and the site suggests you contact your local Harvey Norman for more info on availability
- PB Tech – No listing or mentions of Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series S is listed for sale on the PB Tech website but is currently out of stock
- The Warehouse – The Warehouse lists the Xbox Series X as an online-only option, but currently out of stock. The Xbox Series S is out of stock online, but you are suggested to contact your local store for further information around in-store availability
- Dick Smith – Dick Smith lists both the Xbox Series X and S on its website under ‘coming soon’. You can enter your email address to be notified when it is available
- Mighty Ape – No consoles n stock but Mighty Ape suggests adding it to your wishlist in order to be notified of restocks
- Fishpond – No listing or mentions of Xbox Series X or S consoles
If you can’t wait
Finding a new Xbox isn’t easy. And if you don’t fancy playing the Xbox lottery and trying to snap up restocks, you do have some other options.
If you want to get your hands on a console now, you can either look abroad or go second hand. Overseas retailers may have some stock or releases on the horizon. But, keep in mind that the global supply has been impacted, and demand is high overseas, too. You may also find restrictions preventing you from purchasing online (many retailers are doing in-store purchases only) and shipping internationally. And, if you do manage to do so, you will likely pay a premium in shipping costs.
Otherwise, there are currently Xbox Series X and S consoles being sold second hand here in New Zealand, on popular sites such as Facebook Marketplace and TradeMe. If you can’t wait until retailers restock, this could be your best option. Do note that people reselling these consoles are up marking them and you will have to pay well over the regular retail price. You will also be buying it without the assurance it’s in good working order, and without the warranty that comes when purchasing new. So it’s buyer beware.
Compare broadband with Canstar Blue
If you’re after the best gaming broadband, it pays to look at your options. Different providers not only have a variety of plans and pricing on offer, but the coverage and type of broadband on offer can vary too.
Canstar Blue’s 2021 review of NZ internet providers compares NOW, 2degrees, Bigpipe, Contact, MyRepublic, Nova Energy, Orcon, Slingshot, Spark, Stuff Fibre, Trustpower and Vodafone and awards the best our 5-Star rating:
^ By clicking on a brand or 'details' button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to either a product provider website or a Canstar Blue NZ brand page. You agree that Canstar Blue NZ’s terms and conditions apply (without limitation) to your use of this service,to any referral to a product provider from our website, and any transaction that follows. Canstar Blue may receive a fee for referring you to a product provider. See How we are funded for further details.
Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in April 2022, published in May 2022.
See Our Ratings Methodology
The table above is an abridged version of our full research, so to find out more about NZ’s best broadband providers, just click on the big button below:
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.
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