So the Xbox360 shortage is not fake

In an astounding moment of ambition that is sure to never occur with me, I decided to do some actual research before writing a 360 article and I wanted to talk to a Best Buy manager about sales etc. He wanted to know why he should bother, I told him I’m from a gaming website and I guess it appealed to his vanity or something.

Turns out he’s a co-owner of the store, and he said Microsoft isn’t even taking calls about more orders. Every console they hope to produce until February is already pre-sold. He doesn’t have details about what is holding up production, of course, but that’s the story.

I just spotted this over at Bluesnews

My uninformed wild ass guess is that a “simultaneous” worldwide launch is the root reason for the shortage. Couldn’t get enough boxes made to handle three territories so you xboxen are going to Japan and Europe.

He can’t be a “co-owner of the store” because Best Buy is a corporate entity. He’s just a manager of the store. He doesn’t own it.

I dunno. He probably doesn’t know any more than anyone else about what’s going on. That whole Microsoft won’t take calls for orders sounds like bullshit.

If you really were in the mood to do some actual research, why didn’t you call Microsoft, say “I’m Jakub from Firing Squad and I’d like to ask you what’s really happening with Xbox 360” and go from there?

Also, how can every unit be “pre-sold” if all these other retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart aren’t taking pre-orders? Microsoft certainly has no quarrel with giving EB and Gamestop short shrift with allocations, so I highly doubt they’re going to send every console they make to those retailers only. This guy didn’t know anything more than anyone else.


In just the last two weeks, even though they would have known about this “shortage,” Microsoft has again and again reiterated their projection of selling 3 million 360s in 90 days.

500k (if not more) 360s are going to materialize in the next 21 days, then more every week.

This “shortage” need only last through this Sunday to give average consumers a feeling that they’re in high demand. Think about the parent of an average 13-15 year old. They have no idea what little Johnny wants this Christmas, and he already has an iPod. They saw on the news that gamers were lined up around the block for an Xbox 360, so that must be the hot new thing.

But for $399 + extra for a couple games? Seems like a lot of money…but we’ll see. Oh, wow, every store I go to has “Xbox 360 temporarily out of stock” signs. Little Johnny’s going to be the only kid in his class without one. I must get one before Christmas, or die trying!




I have no doubts that we will see 3 million units ship in the next 21 days. Microsoft is not retarded and they know how to play their cards and play them right.

Heh. I have this mental image of some wide-eyed doofus in a Best Buy shirt holding a phone upside down and screaming “HELLO, MICROSOFT?! HELLO? HELLO?” into it.

You, sir, have caused me much merriment.

I hate being bullshitted. I have half a mind to find him and confront him. Damn jerk.

But he may have been right. BBC World ran a story about it too, saying how MS isn’t taking orders from retailers right now because they’re on back-order until March supposedly.

Hey, Jakub, I’m co-CEO of Target. We’re not actually selling real xbox 360’s, we’re selling boxes of rocks. If you open the box, we come over and kill you to keep our secret shame. Want to interview me? On the record and everything.

That would be funny if I thought cooties were real.

Simultaneous = march '06 in NZ… mind you I don’t have the spare moolah to get one anyway :)

Maybe when the shortage is over they’ll have some games I’m interested in coming out for the console.

I’m also waiting to see which component will end up being the weak link that’s replaced in the first revision. I’m going to let my money ride on the hard drive, but I hear the fan has pretty good odds going for it as well.

The chip, duh!

Dropping from 90 nm to 65 nm is an automatic 30% increase in yield.

Cutting the price of your most expensive component by 30% is a big deal.

That would be funny if I thought cooties were real.[/quote]

Cooties are real.

EDIT: I’m just being a smart ass, because linking to that makes me giggle.

I’m a definite fan of your reviews/writing Jakub. When is your next LCD round up scheduled for?

Dave is correct in that Best Buy doesn’t franchise, but McDonald’s is a corporate entity and you can own a McDonald’s store, so his assertion is slightly off.



I’m really interested in finding out whether MS has screwed the pooch by rushing to be first/rushing to make the 05 holiday season, or whether they’ve beautifully orchestrated a nationwide belief in the scarcity and value of the X360.

My early money is on screwed the pooch. All this blather about increasing value for the publishers by launching worldwide, and it seems to be counteracted by their inability to fill the retail channel. It’s going to be very hard to move a million SKU’s of your game when MS hasn’t shipped a million X360’s…

At first I thought “Nitpicker” was in reference to the cooties thread.

I don’t believe it. Forcing the people who wanted (and pre-ordered!) an Xbox360 to wait would be lunacy. Once people start waiting they’re going to not mind waiting so much and the 360 wait turns into the PS3 wait. Since my pre-order seems to have fallen through till aparently after x-mas I’ve been seriously cooled off of the system. The hype is over, people have it, the impressions are starting to come out and it’s not all flowers and fireworks. I’m considering taking the preorder money and applying it straight to the PS3 so that this debacle doesn’t happen to me again.