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Microsoft: Xbox 360 Shortages 'Disappointing'

Dean Takahashi, author of the book Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft’s Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution, has reported in his online weblog that Microsoft is "...
Dean Takahashi, author of the book Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft’s Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution, has reported in his online weblog that Microsoft is "disappointed" that it can’t get more units of the Xbox 360 into the market. Writing on the San Jose Mercury News website, Takahashi discussed in brief his impressions from visiting with various Xbox luminaries, including Molly O'Donnell, spokeswoman for the Xbox division, and Ken Lobb, the Microsoft studio manager for Rare, while researching his next book on the Xbox 360. He suggests that stock problems are not due to manufacturing problems with chip yields but is more of a "systems issue" – implying complications when assembling and testing the consoles. Quoting NPD Group estimates of 326,000 consoles sold in the U.S. and 1.3 million units of software, Takahashi comments that Microsoft considers these figures to be "a little low". He also suggests that stock in the U.S. will begin to catch up with demand starting in January. Consumer website GameSpot has described new shipments since the launch as "very small", and has indicated that it is still largely impossible to obtain a console unless it has been pre-ordered before the launch. Quoting a manager of a San Francisco EB Games store it is suggested that consoles will not begin to be freely available until February – the EB Games website even goes as far as to suggest March. The situation is even worse in Europe, and with further launches in Australasia due for March it is seeming increasingly likely that Microsoft will not be able to fully meet Xbox 360 demand until well into 2006.

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