Microsoft Will Let Some Xbox Users Reserve An Xbox Series X|S Through A Test Program
It's currently very hard to find a new console, but Microsoft is trying to make it easier.
Microsoft is rolling out a pilot program for a new way to help fans in the US get their hands on a new Xbox amid the global semiconductor shortage that is making it hard to buy all manner of new tech, including consoles.
Microsoft has announced what it's calling the "Console Purchase Pilot." Anyone in the US who is signed up to the free Xbox Insiders program on Xbox One can register for a chance to reserve an Xbox Series X|S console.
Details on how the program works are available from the Xbox Insider hub on Xbox One. Posting on Reddit, Microsoft said it will invite a "subset" of Xbox Insiders on Xbox One to participate in the program; those chosen will find an invite for a "flight" called Xbox Series X|S Console Purchase Pilot in their inbox.
Today we're introducing the Console Purchase Pilot, allowing US #XboxInsiders on Xbox One to register for a chance to reserve an Xbox Series X|S console. Check the Xbox Insider Hub on Xbox One for details. Limited space is available and not all who register will be selected. pic.twitter.com/MBkQmbSDWc— Xbox Insider (@xboxinsider) May 11, 2021
This message will only be sent to people on an Xbox One console, not PC, Xbox 360, Xbox Series X|S, or the web. Those who are selected will be asked to designate their willingness to buy either the Xbox Series X or S console. If the program informs you that a console is available, and you're interested, you will be asked to pay the full amount. People who buy an Xbox Series X|S this way will also get "full retail support" similar to if you bought one at the store; presumably this also includes Microsoft's warranty.
Microsoft will also send you a survey asking for your feedback about the pilot. "It is important to us to hear from people who have chosen to make a purchase, and from people who have chosen not to make this purchase," Microsoft said.
Microsoft cautioned that space is "limited," going on to note that "not all who register will be selected." If you're selected, a message will show up in your inbox in a few days.
A spokesperson for Microsoft shared some further details on the new console reservation program with GameSpot. The spokesperson said Microsoft is adopting the new strategy to help players get a console during what has proving to be a difficult time to do so.
"In an effort to help get our limited supply of consoles in the hands of fans, we are testing a console purchase pilot program with Xbox Insiders in the US beginning this week," the spokesperson said. "This testing may help inform new ways we make products available to fans in the future, and the feedback we receive from Insiders will inform whether we roll out the pilot more broadly. This testing is being done with select Xbox Insiders in the US on Xbox One specifically. In the coming weeks, selected Insiders will receive a notification from Xbox via the Xbox dashboard messaging system alerting them they have a console reserved for them. Allocations for this program are supported with a portion of inventory from Microsoft Store and will fluctuate based on when new stock becomes available. We have nothing further to share at this time."
This kind of console reservation system is something fans have been calling for to help secure a console. Given that it's a limited, pilot program, it's unlikely to be available for most people and help those who want to get their hands on a next-gen console.
Still, it's good to see Microsoft taking a step to help people find and secure a system, even if it is only a pilot program for now.
If you're not invited into this pilot program, you can check out GameSpot's ongoing Xbox Series X|S restock guide to find out where to get a new console.
For more on the shortages impacting Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo, check out GameSpot's recent feature, "Why Finding A PS5 And Xbox Series X Is So Hard--And Is Going To Stay That Way For Now."
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.