updated 03:30 pm EST, Thu January 13, 2011
Microsoft warns Xbox 360 shortages until February
Microsoft's Xbox Live Programming Director Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb warned in the past day that there were once again Xbox 360 shortages following the holidays this year. The console ran out of stock at the end of December and will have prevented Microsoft from beating Nintendo's Wii in the NPD sales charts. Supply in January and February would be "tight as well," he added.
The supply could cap Microsoft's potential but could lead to "amazing" year-over-year growth. Most of the growth can be attributed both to the usual holiday upswing but also to the November 4 intro of Kinect. The motion controller helped Microsoft outsell Nintendo in November when comparing TV gaming by attracting not just veteran gamers but those who would never have considered an Xbox 360 before.
Microsoft during its CES 2011 keynote said it had sold over eight million Kinect devices in the past 60 days, some of which were attached to new systems.
Xbox shortages have been regular in the past few years. Microsoft has usually characterized it as a matter of sheer demand, but the company has often been conservative with supply. It has regularly tried to time either a new system upgrade, a major game release like Halo or both for the fall to keep up interest.