Updated on November 2 to correct an error. This post previously linked to an alleged post from Xbox boss Phil Spencer, but he confirmed the comment did not come from him. I apologize for the error.
A $150 game controller is crazy, no one is going to buy one of those! Right?
It turns out that Microsoft underestimated the demand for the Xbox One Elite Controller, which it started selling at retailers today. In reality, few people who didn’t preorder have actually had any luck picking up one of these high-quality gamepads. People on social media are reporting that stores are sold out, and you have almost no hope of getting one online. Obviously, it is selling very well — although Microsoft isn’t providing any specific numbers.
But Microsoft claims that it should have plenty before the gift-giving holidays like Christmas.
“We’re thrilled at the amount of interest we’ve received for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller,” a Microsoft spokesperson told GamesBeat. “We are working quickly to get more units of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller in the hands of fans, and look forward to replenishing inventory in time for the holidays.”
If you can’t wait, however, you can still get one — and it’s a pretty decent deal as long as you don’t already own an Xbox One.
“If you’re looking for an Xbox One console as well, another great option for fans is the [$500] Xbox One Elite Bundle, which comes with an Xbox Elite Wireless Controller and a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive,” the spokesperson said. “[It is] available starting Tuesday, November 3 at Microsoft Stores and GameStop.”
It’s not too surprising that it’s selling out because it is excellent, and you can read all about it in our review. I asked Microsoft if the response is an affirmation that it is on the right track.
“We are always looking for ways to bring the best experiences to all of our fans on Xbox,” said the spokesperson. “And the excitement and interest from gamers for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller has been overwhelming.”
If you are just now coming to the decision that you want to buy one, you’re going to find that it really is sold out. That includes all of the following online stores:
- Best Buy
- Microsoft Store
And this wasn’t because people were rushing out and grabbing the new controller right as clerks were stocking them on shelves. The Elite was on pace to sell out well before today. On Sunday, I checked the Microsoft Store website, and it was no longer taking new orders.
For anyone who did get an Elite order into the Microsoft Store on that last day before it sold out completely, they were notified that the gamepad won’t ship until mid-November. That jives with Microsoft’s “in time for the holidays” statement, since it’ll likely want to get as many Elites back in stores by the big Black Friday sales.
Finally, I would advise you make some calls before venturing out to find an Elite in the wild. I called a few local GameStops, and I had two different associates tell me the same thing: every store only got enough Elites to fulfill preorders. If one store had 30 preorders, it got 30 Elites, and if another only had 1, then it only got one.