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Xbox fans are in for a rough few months

The Xbox Series X will launch in just under two weeks, and Microsoft's latest console is getting great reviews from critics. Unfortunately, Xbox boss Phil Spencer's recent appearance on the Dropped Frames podcast may have delivered some bad news for folks who were still hoping to snag a Series X on launch day.

During the interview, Spencer spoke a bit about his excitement at seeing the Xbox Series X making its way to stores. He said that Microsoft was beginning to see pictures of the Xbox Series X and Series S on physical store shelves, which is very exciting. However, Spencer did hint that getting one of these consoles may be a trickier proposition than many had expected. Simply put, there may not be enough units of the new Xbox consoles to go around. 

"We know what our supply will look like, basically for the rest of the year. Just [because of] the lead times and the hardware. And we're going to have more demand than we do supply," Spencer admitted. 

Spencer added, "And I will apologize in advance to people for that. We kind of saw it with pre-orders, just like how much energy there was, and we were basically out [of stock] in a couple of hours, which is unfortunate. I think we are going to live in that world for a few months, that we're going to have a lot more demand than we do supply."

Spencer explained that the company is definitely trying to figure out how to provide more inventory to retailers. He also reassured fans that he has a plan and is looking toward the next few years of the Xbox brand. 

This is obviously not the news that Xbox fans were hoping to hear, especially this close to launch date. Unfortunately, Spencer's latest comments line up pretty well with an e-mail sent out by Microsoft last month. Microsoft Store customers in the UK received emails giving them a heads up about impending preorders, along with a warning that read, "Mark your calendars to ensure you're first in line. Consoles are limited, while supplies last."

Even major retailers have attempted to warn customers of impending Xbox Series X shortages. Back in September, a blog post from Best Buy Canada read, "Pre-orders will be limited, and we are expecting them to sell out very quickly."

Sure enough, preorders were snapped up in a hurry, causing an uproar among fans. Despite Xbox's promise to give customers plenty of heads up, people were still more or less blindsided by the preorder launch. Unfortunately, it seems as though the folks who missed out on preorders may find themselves unable to track down an Xbox Series X on launch day.

It seems as though Microsoft is not alone in this conundrum, as Sony has also warned of a similar shortage in the supply of PlayStation 5 consoles. In a recent interview with Reuters, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan said, "The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been very, very considerable." Because of this, he feared that many gamers may be going without a PS5 this holiday season. 

Ryan continued, "It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one." Ryan did say that everyone at Sony Interactive Entertainment was "working as hard as we ever can" to ensure that customers are taken care of, but the warning still stands. 

The PlayStation 5 had a similarly tempestuous preorder cycle, with the first and second rounds of preorders selling out within minutes. While there are still a few ways to maybe secure a PlayStation 5 console before launch day, it's looking less likely as time passes. The sad fact of the matter is that there simply may not be enough units to go around.

As the console war heats up, it seems like both major competitors are in a similar boat when it comes to low supply and high demand.

Hopefully the fans that have to wait a bit to get their consoles will feel like their patience has been rewarded. In recent weeks, Microsoft has put a lot of energy into hyping up the advancements made with this new console. According to Xbox's Jason Ronald, over 500,00 hours have been spent testing the new console's backwards compatibility before launch. Meanwhile, Phil Spencer has been teasing the possible introduction of cloud streaming sticks that would be compatible with Xbox Game Pass.

The Xbox Series X and Series S both launch on Nov. 10, 2020.