How To Get Your Hands On A PlayStation 5 Or Xbox Series X Before The Holidays

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The holidays are coming, and you need a gift for the console gamer in your life. However, finding a new generation PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X or S seems near impossible. Near impossible without some handy tricks up your sleeve, that is. Today we have some helpful shopping tips, so hopefully, you can get your hands on a console to make that gamer's (or your own personal) wish come true.

Finding An Xbox Series X Or PS5 Via Online Stock Trackers

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The easiest and probably most hands-off way to find one of the latest consoles is using an online inventory tracker. Inventory or stock tracking websites pull data from store webpages every couple of seconds and automatically update their pages to show whether a retailer has a console. You can also get notifications through email, text, Discord or Telegram on some of these sites listed below.
    • NowInStock offers browser alerts/sounds, text messages, emails, Discord notifications, and Telegram messages to alert you when something is back in stock. This site is not limited to consoles, however, as you could set alerts for GPUs or anything you may be hunting for.
    • Popcart offers a Chrome browser extension that sends users a notification for when consoles are back in stock.  You can also use Popcart to compare prices of other items you are shopping for this holiday season.
    • Similar to NowInStock, Zoolert offers text, email, Discord, and browser alerts for items that come back in stock.  They also have alerts for other products as well. 

Be First In Line For That New Console

This method of getting a new console is undoubtedly more complicated and more of a gamble than waiting for a console to pop up online. It boils down to visiting or calling stores that may have a PS5, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S and asking about what day restocks happen. They may not tell you (nor be able to tell you) when any console shipment is coming, but they may be able to say, “We have a big truckload of inventory coming on X day.” When that day arrives, see if you can beat the crowds and be first in line for a possible console.

Check Stores You May Not Think Of For Consoles

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A Grocery Store With Consoles? Who Knew!

Just because Best Buy and Walmart are the big names around the holiday season and are kings of console launches, it does not mean they are the only ones who may have stock. I was surprised to learn that a Chicago-area chain of stores called Meijer was selling PS5s and Xbox Series Xs. In fact, they also had an online queueing system to boot! These smaller stores will not necessarily have automatic online stock trackers, so you will have to keep an eye on them manually yourself.

To be frank, it is not going to be easy to get a new console this year. If you do not want to go out and about, especially due to COVID-19, we do not blame you. Perhaps it would be easier just to get a gift card and say it is for a specific console when they come back in stock. If you do manage to get a console through other tips and tricks, feel free to share them in the comments below or on Twitter @HotHardware.

And of course check our Holiday DIY PC Build Shopping Guide and our extensive deals coverage for other great tech gift ideas for the geek in your life, or yourself, because you deserve it. 

Whatever you end up doing, we wish you the best of luck and a happy holiday season!