Showing the still-desperate state of Xbox 360 console supply as Christmas approaches, representatives from U.S. online firm CE Buys have announced that that the company is now taking sign-ups for its premium alert service mailing list. The service informs consumers (for a $39 yearly fee) when online merchants have video game consoles in stock - with the Xbox 360 being used as a prominent example.
CE Buys is automatically polling inventory of various stores including Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, WalMart, Toys ‘R’ US, Electronics Boutique and GameStop to send alerts not only for more Xbox 360 stock, but also when pre-orders become available for the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Revolution.
Although the Xbox 360 has failed to sell out in Japan
, in Europe many stores have been unable to fulfil launch pre-orders due to a lack of stock. The situation is little better in North America, with only 326,000 consoles having been sold
in November, and stocks completely drained in all major stores. According to analyst reports, though, an additional 300,000 units will be available in North America before Christmas.
"We launched our free alert notification service in October 2004 with the Nintendo DS, followed by the Sony PSP in February 2005, and finally the Microsoft Xbox 360 in September 2005. We now have well over 20,000 active and happy subscribers who mostly preordered their systems," said CE Buys president Nick Pang. "Without our notification service, consumers won’t be able to get the Xbox 360 in their hands by Christmas Day 2005, unless they are willing to pay the outrageous premiums on online auction sites.”