UPDATE: Has Microsoft SA Lied About Kinect Sales In South Africa?

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[Update: The story has been updated with an official comment from Microsoft SA’s product and marketing manager]

Earlier today, the official Twitter account for Microsoft South Africa sent out a tweet claiming that “Almost 99% of local stores sold out of Kinect in the first day!”.

That’s a pretty darn impressive achievement indeed, or at least it would be if it was true.

In order to find out if there was any truth to the tweet, we decided to call up a bunch of random stores that stock the Kinect to find out what their stock situation was looking like.

In order to ensure that I didn’t mistakenly hit the 1% that didn’t make it into the tweet, I decided to call random stores from 3 different companies.

We called a Look and Listen and spoke to the bloke who hangs around the video games all day long. When asked about stock, he said that they definitely had units in store. When I asked how much stock was in the store or if someone should be worried about a shortage, he replied saying that “there are more than enough still in stock” and that I shouldn’t be worried. Lastly, I asked him if the stock in the store was still the original stock, or if they had ordered more but was told that it was still from the stock they had received at first.

So… Microsoft’s claims are already looking a little off. Next up, we called a BT Games as well as a Dion’s Wired store, of which both still had no issues with stock.

I called a different Dion’s Wired in a different City (the first was in JHB) and asked the same questions that I asked Look and Listen.

Lo and behold, the Dion’s Wired also told us that not only did they have plenty of stock, but also that it was the original stock and they had not had to order any additional stock.

So… what can we really say here? Microsoft made a public claim that just happened to be completely untrue. We are not entirely sure if the Twitter account is being run by a promotional / marketing agency on Microsoft’s behalf or Microsoft themselves, but they can’t just go and make claims like that without complete certainty.

All I can say is that, at this very moment, should you decide that you want to own a Kinect sensor for your Xbox 360, you won’t really have any issues finding one and you wouldn’t have on day two either.

We have contacted Microsoft as well as their agency for a comment on the matter and will hopefully be able to give an update very soon.

Update with comment from Microsoft

Microsoft South Africa have promptly returned our mail with an official comment on the matter. Product and Marketing manager Yvette van Rooyen gave us the following comment:

“I will investigate who placed this on the twitter account because it isn’t true…. My apologies that someone is putting the incorrect information out there.”

Thanks to Microsoft for dealing with the matter appropriately and with complete honesty, that’s definitely what we like to see around here. Hopefully they supervise their Twitter account more from now on, as you don’t want things like this being blurted out randomly.

Last Updated: November 11, 2010

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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