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Xbox Series X and Series S pre-orders were just as messy as PlayStation 5

Fans hoping to pre-order an Xbox Series X or Series S were dealt another headache this morning as retailers across the board experienced errors.

The messy pre-order echoes last week’s rocky PlayStation 5 launch, which left players scrambling for the console after it surprise dropped at retailers and sold out in minutes across the board. Microsoft teased Sony for the debacle in a tweet promising fans would get a heads up when Xbox pre-orders were live. Despite the more organized approach, however, it was no easier to secure a next-generation Xbox.


While some hoped that things would go smoother on Microsoft’s own website, that unfortunately was not the case. As 8 a.m. PT rolled around, the site was immediately hit with errors that made getting an Xbox near impossible.

Fans trying to pre-order either system were greeted with a 503 error page that said Service Unavailable. Beyond that error page, the website experienced a significant slowdown even when buying a current-generation Xbox One.

The site is working more consistently now, and fans have been able to successfully pre-order through it, though it still throws errors occasionally.


GameStop tried to keep things organized this time by introducing a queue system. Users could digitally line up for the consoles, with the page refreshing when it was their turn to buy.

Despite that, the retailer still ran into problems. Users noted that they were getting hit by an Access Denied message when trying to enter the site. That’s at least a step up from last week when the site told users they had been blocked during PlayStation 5 pre-orders.

Best Buy

For a while, clicking on either console link would take users to an error page. Eventually, both systems went live, but buying them is still a challenge. When we clicked the pre-order button on the Xbox Series S page, we got an error message saying, “Due to high demand, this item hasn’t been added to your cart. Please wait a few minutes before trying again.”

Eventually, we were able to make it past the message and add it, but when clicking for checkout, the cart was empty. A different error message appeared, saying, “Sorry, we’re having a system issue, but it should only be temporary.”


Target experienced all of the above issues. In addition to a host of errors, users reported that they could get a console into their cart, but that it would be removed at checkout. Others got to the end before being told the consoles were sold out entirely.


Walmart had perhaps the smoothest roll-out, with very few errors appearing on the site. The flip side was that both systems sold out almost immediately. Some users reported that despite getting a sold-out message, they were still able to pre-order successfully by refreshing the page.


At least Amazon’s issues involved dogs. When the Xbox Series X pre-order link went live, many users were sent to an error page that featured an image of a dog. Others were successfully able to nab a console, which sold out quickly. The Series S has yet to go up for pre-order at Amazon at the time of writing.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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