November 4, 2005
Xbox 360 supply chaos loomsPosted 3221 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.
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