Even Halo Infinite's esports tournament can't find Xbox Series X in stock

Halo Infinite
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Halo Infinite's esports management has confirmed that open bracket players in the upcoming Halo Championship Series tournament will be playing on Xbox Series X development consoles. That's because the ongoing global supply chain issues are affecting not just consumers, but also Microsoft and developer 343 Industries.

The news was confirmed by Tashi, Halo esports and viewership lead at Microsoft and 343 Industries, on Twitter. Tashi stressed that the development consoles are functionally identical to a regular Xbox Series X, with the only major difference being the appearance of the console.

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The HCS Kickoff Major is taking place between December 17 and December 19, 2021, in Raleigh, North Carolina. It's the first official Halo Infinite tournament that's open to all players, the trade-off to this being that Microsoft seems unable to supply enough Xbox Series X consoles to accommodate all players.

The situation speaks volumes for just how dire the global supply chain issues have become, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and semiconductor shortage contributing the most to the problem. If even Microsoft can't supply enough consoles for a tournament setting, what hope do the rest of us have in securing the elusive Xbox Series X in time for Christmas?

With huge releases like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 proving exceptionally popular on both console and PC, demand has never been higher for the current generation of Xbox consoles. And while a tournament setting likely requires the most powerful hardware available, a better solution does exist for us regular consumers.

Pivoting to a consumer perspective, if you are shopping for a console for Christmas, the Xbox Series S is, fortunately, more abundant in its stock. While the size of its SSD is halved compared to its beefier sibling, and resolution tops out at 1440p, Microsoft's more affordable console could be a fantastic alternative if you've been pulling your hair out trying to secure a unit in time for the festivities.

The Xbox Series S has more than proven itself as a powerful current-gen machine, however. It's still capable of running games at a high framerate, and its lighting-quick SSD is only marginally slower than that of the Xbox Series X. As such, it's far from the worst fallback if supply woes continue throughout 2022 for the Series X.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.