Updated with comment from Exertis at 13.54 on 3/10/17.
Microsoft's upcoming console is looking to be in extremely short supply, based on independent retailers that MCV has spoken with. One retailer told us that its allocation for the new console was just five units, way short of the hundred units that it had requested, and less than a quarter of the units it received when the original Xbox One launched.
Speaking with four other retailers, both indies and major chains, there was a general feeling that stock was in short supply when compared to the Xbox One's launch. Though this may in part be down to the way in which Exertis is dividing up the limited supplies, we reached out to the distributor, who commented:
"We are seeing very high demand for Xbox One X and while we are doing our best to keep up with that demand, unfortunately it is the case that, as with any new console launch, there is a limited amount of stock available. This is not specific to independent retailers and we are finding that every retailer would wish to have more Xbox One X stock for launch, which is reflective of the strong pre-order performance we are seeing.
What we are doing is working very hard to keep supply flowing in the weeks immediately following launch, and we are hopeful that additional stock will be available in the subsequent weeks."
A major retailer commented that "all console launches have tight stock followed by replen[ishment]. This will be the same again, no worries. We have been there and done it before. Pre-order or miss out is the mantra. Most consumers know this."
Demand is certainly high, then, with Microsoft stating that it's the most successful pre-order campaign its run to date for console hardware. We asked whether the One X would be in greater supply than the original Xbox One, but Microsoft UK declined to comment on that.
... unfortunately it is the case that, as with any new console launch, there is always a limited amount of stock available at launch
Harvey Eagle, Xbox UK
Harvey Eagle, Xbox UK and Ireland Category Director, did tell MCV: “We are seeing very high demand for Xbox One X. We are doing our best to keep up with that demand but unfortunately it is the case that, as with any new console launch, there is always a limited amount of stock available at launch."
In terms of retail stock he told us: "We are doing everything we can to address retailers’ short-term requirements for launch, as well as working very hard to keep supply flowing in the weeks immediately following launch." He added for consumers: "Please check delivery dates with your retailer when pre-ordering Xbox One X so you are clear when the product will be available.”
Obviously stock is a huge concern for retailers, but also for publishers, accessory makers and merchandisers, who might all be looking for a sales bounce based on One X sales.
If Microsoft can take a significant lead in hardware then that should heat up competition between the two platform holders on third-party titles, with one major retailer saying that "things will get very feisty."
None of the retailers we spoke to wished to be named, out of concern of endangering partner relationships and further deliveries of stock.