It’s just been 10 days since the Xbox Series X has hit store shelves the world over and in some countries like India, the Xbox Series X is seemingly impossible to find after being sold out during its pre-order period. At first glance this would seem that Indian gamers are flocking to Microsoft’s vision of the future of gaming, a great turn of events when you consider how poorly the Xbox One and Xbox 360 fared here. For its part, Microsoft India acknowledges its supply issues, stating that gamers would not have to wait too long for the Xbox Series X to be restocked.
“We have seen overwhelming global demand from our fans for the next generation of Xbox and are working tirelessly with our retail partners to replenish Xbox hardware as quickly as possible,” spokesperson for the company tells The Mako Reactor over email. “Due to high demand, we know Xbox Series X is hard to find right now, though fans may still be able to find Xbox Series S, which delivers many of the same next-gen features at a more affordable price. We also expect Xbox Series X to be available again soon. For more details on availability in your market, please contact your local retailers directly.”
Internationally, Microsoft has made similar statements with Xbox boss Phil Spencer apologising for shortages that could last until April 2021.
However there’s more to the Xbox Series X’s lack of availability in India. Offline retailers, which make up the majority of Indian game stores, only got 10 percent of launch day Xbox Series X and S stock and roughly the same allocation of fresh shipments for restock that have landed earlier this week sources in the supply chain tell us. Some retailers allege that Microsoft hasn’t even given them what was committed for launch either.
“It’s been ten days since launch, I haven’t even got my day one allocation of Series X and S yet,” says one Mumbai-based game store owner on the condition of anonymity.
And it’s not just game stores that have been hung out to dry. Multiple would be Xbox Series X owners in India tried purchasing the console on its November 10 release date and an increasing number of them have been given delivery dates stretching upto January 2021 after an initial window of the third week of November 2020.
Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is one of the Xbox Series X’s launch titles. Gameplay via Gameography.
To make matters worse, sites like Amazon and Flipkart took payments up front for the Xbox Series X. What this means is, if you ordered one on November 10, you’re Rs. 49,990 out of pocket for a purchase that seems to be having a delivery date that’s tentative at best, leaving you in a lurch.
“It’s hard to cancel my order,” says Gautam Thapar a Delhi-based web developer. Thapar ordered the Xbox Series X on November 10 the moment it went live on Amazon India.
“I wanted a PS5 initially,” he says, but changed his mind seeing Sony’s console did not have a concrete India release date. Now, he’s stuck, having paid for a console that to him, appears to suffer from the same fate. He isn’t alone.
“I called multiple different local retailers,” claims Mumbai’s Parag Shah. “All of them have told me that they have not got stock yet.”
He has an order on Amazon India as well, placed on November 10 which is also stuck in limbo with a January 2021 delivery date. While Shah and Thapar ordered from Amazon India, it isn’t the only retailer that’s revised its Xbox Series X availability.
“I have a Series X order from Flipkart with a December 28 delivery date, I ordered on November 10 and paid upfront,” says Mohit Bhatia from Delhi. “I hope it comes earlier but no update from Flipkart yet.”
Xbox Series X and Series S India release date quantities and availability
So how many Xbox Series X and S consoles made it to India on launch day? Sources amongst multiple stores all independently confirmed that roughly 150 to 200 Xbox Series X and S consoles in total were available for the entirety of retail in India excluding Amazon India, Flipkart, and Reliance Digital.
Assuming the 90 percent allocation to these three stores is accurate and you have at best 2,000 Xbox Series X and S that arrived in India for the November 10 release date. Throw in the 5:1 ratio of S to X that we reported of earlier and you’re left with optimistically around 333 Xbox Series X and 1,667 Series S for India on the release date. This isn’t too bad when you consider around 1,500 Xbox Ones sold in India the first three months of launch. We contacted Microsoft to verify these numbers to which we received no comment.
Considering how poorly the Xbox One sold through its lifecycle, Microsoft has more to prove but at the same time, limit its risk. As some may recall, the quantity of Xbox One consoles brought in at launch was so high that Amazon India had to discount them by 20 percent a few weeks in.
All of this makes us wonder how Sony would handle its eventual PS5 India launch. The company has been obsessing over Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S plans of late, sources say, but have given retail nothing in the way of a release date or pre-order information. Hopefully, it learns a thing or two about avoiding Microsoft’s missteps.