Xbox 360 "sell-out conspiracy"
Gamespot are today reporting that with Microsoft already admitting publicly that they underestimated the challenge of the worldwide launch shortly to be attempted by the new Xbox 360 console, numerous unit shortages and supply problems are already being predicted, and more. The system is out on November 22nd in North America, December 2nd in Europe, and December 10th in Japan. Senior Xbox chiefs have also admitted they might not have opted for a worldwide debut had they known the supply issues they would be faced with, especially given the amount of marketing the launch will be accompanied by. Indeed, some sources in the games industry are now beginning to look at the upcoming shortages as an actual strategy on Redmond's part. A sell-out debut, so the theory goes, could create the impression that the system is incredibly desirable and sort-after, rather than merely inadvertently under-supplied.
Such conspiracy-laden theories are being supported by sources quoted on sites like Kotaku, who report from an anonymous 'Target' worker, who claims only ten to fifty units will be delivered to each store, with giant 'sold out' out signs being advised for window displays. Other sites carry similarly anonymous claims of subtle marketing manipulation. Gizmodo meanwhile report an even more outrageous claim from a Norwegian store clerk, claiming that each store will only take delivery of twenty systems, regardless of size. More over, said retailers are being forced to sign an agreement stating that each store will sell-out its allocation on day one. "Microsoft Norway even said themselves that they're gonna use the 'Sold Out' as a marketing strategy to hype the console," Gizmodo's source is quoted as saying.
GameSpot's interesting 'Rumour Control' report on this very issue also points to the negative publicity of the PSPs debut as evidence that Microsoft could be engineering a sell-out launch, stating that the PSP's start was deemed a failure because units remained in-stock, regardless of supply levels. on the other hand, Microsoft could be just trying to put a positive spin on a frustrating situation concerning the availability of systems, especially given the honest admissions of senior figures on this very issue in recent weeks. More on all this potentially idle gossip as we get it, and of course the ever looming new console itself.