In a nutshell: Microsoft's Xbox Series X remains virtually impossible to find at retail. If you're willing to settle for a refurbished console and don't mind throwing down a bit of extra cash for a game and a second controller, Microsoft has a deal you might be interested in.

Microsoft is now offering certified refurbished Xbox Series X consoles through its US Microsoft Store. Console pricing is set at $469.99, but you are also required to purchase at least one digital game from a collection of nearly a dozen titles. The cheapest of the lot, Monopoly Plus + Monopoly Madness, is $27.49.

Shoppers must also buy a controller. The robot white Xbox Wireless Controller is the cheapest of the bunch at $54.99.

The most affordable bundle totals $552.47 – shipping is on the house. That's more or less in line with current third-party pricing on eBay, minus the extra controller and game.

Certified refurbished products from Microsoft have been screened, repaired, tested and cleaned to company standards. They also include a standard 12-month warranty, although those looking for a bit more peace of mind can add the Microsoft Complete protection plan to extend warranty coverage out to three years for an extra $49.

Microsoft has implemented a limit of one console per customer.

Microsoft launched the Xbox Series in November 2020 just days before the arrival of Sony's PlayStation. Both machines have been incredibly difficult to find at retail for a variety of reasons.

Image credit Billy Freeman