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November 4, 2005

Xbox 360 supply chaos looms

Posted 4403 days ago on November 4, 2005

Many customers of Amazon.co.uk who have ordered Microsoft's hot new games console, the XBox 360, have received an email warning that their system may not arrive before Christmas. If it does not, the web retailer is promising a £10 voucher in compensation. Other retailers are complaining of tiny allocations to set against a large pile of pre-orders. Tech chat site Slashdot is even accusing Microsoft of planning a deliberate Xbox 360 shortage to increase the marketing hype. The premium version which includes a hard drive will be especially hard to find. Demand for this edition is greater than for the "core" product, despite the higher price.

I don't believe the deliberate shortage theory for a moment. Hype has a value; but far less than getting the console out into as many homes as possible. No, this is what happens when you combine a global launch for an advanced technical product, with the determination to launch ahead of a major competitor (Sony). It's going to be chaos, with many people missing out, inflated prices on EBay, and frustration all round.

The other Xbox 360 question is whether the games are ready. A side-effect of the rush to launch is that developers have not had very long to work with the finalized hardware.

Personally I doubt we will see what this new hardware is really capable of until much later - maybe this time next year.

Re: XBox 360 supply chaos looms

Posted 4384 days ago by Ken • • • Reply

Well, at first I was a bit disturbed that I was unable to buy one but now perhaps it is a blessing in disguise. Since I will more than likely not be able to get a 360 for Christmas, I'll just wait and probably end up buying a PS3. Acutally, with the supply issues on the 360, I found myself pausing to look at the specs on the PS3 and I wonder if Sony will enjoy an increased market share from capturing buyers like me who would have otherwise purchased a 360 had there not been a supply shortage. And now that I look at the PS3, especially the High Def DVD player - and the committment for backward compatibility, I find myself being glad that the 360 supply was bad!

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