At this point, Microsoft is sending more mixed messages than your typical woman. We heard that pre-orders were sold out, then they weren’t, and now it seems that Microsoft is arranging for some units to be available in stores on day one for those people who didn’t preorder.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer told Game Informer:
“You want people to be able to walk in the store and buy one on day one, so you’re trying to manage the inventory that isn’t pre-sold. It’s not a yield problem, it’s us trying to manage the hardware side. I want parents who don’t think about pre-ordering electronics to be able to walk in and have a chance to find a box. There might be a line, but I don’t want it to be that if you didn’t pre-order in September, you can’t get one. That doesn’t feel like a great consumer experience.”
It’s not just the consoles that will be available – for those who want to pick up extra controllers and games, everything is planned to be well stocked and available on 22 November in those countries where Xbox is launching. I’m still curious about when we can expect it to land on local shores, and how much stock we can expect in South Africa.
Regardless of the limited number of launch countries, Microsoft is confident that they will sell millions of units. Yusuf Mehdi told DualShockers that sales expectations for the first year are in the tens of millions:
Certainly in the beginning, it’s primarily a gaming console. That’s going to be the primary buyer. In all the research we’ve seen, there’ll be tens of millions of buyers in the first year and in the research we do, over 90% of them own an existing console.
So I think there’s going to be supply constraints in the beginning, and I think all those purchasers are going to be gamers.
Good to know that they have faith in gamers, even if their advertising is focused on non-gaming functionality. That seems like a lot of units to ship in the first year – I hope that they can keep up stock levels without falling into perception issues like the Wii U. I suppose they are planning to get the launch countries fully kitted out before the rest of the world sees anything. Very disappointing and frustrating for us, but at least all the parents in the US who didn’t preorder can still cave in to their screaming children when the console is released.
Last Updated: September 9, 2013