In comments made in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has directly addressed the issues surrounding the Xbox 360's launch, hinting that problems with chip yields on the console's key components are one of the main reasons that the Xbox 360 is shipping in even more limited numbers than expected.
Ballmer commented to the Citizen: "In these new consumer electronics devices based on new chips, there's always the question of what yield will you get out of the manufacturing process of the new chip. We're getting a little less, but not much less than the yields we expected, and we know that the yields we expected will probably outrun supply."
However, Ballmer noted: "We decided to go ahead and launch rather than wait until post-Christmas and get a few million units out into the hands of users. We're doing our best."
In addition, in remarks at a technology executive conference reported by Reuters, Ballmer quipped, in an apparent attempt to defuse some of the frustration over limited stocks of Microsoft's next-gen console: "The Ballmer children do not have their Xbox 360 yet. I'm in the same boat as many of you. Thanks to the wonders of [financial regulation act] Sarbanes-Oxley, management does not get a free Xbox 360."
In recent days
, American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy has estimated that 300,000 to 400,000 Xbox 360 consoles had been sold in the U.S. in the week to ten days after launch, following the continued scarcity of the console. Microsoft's European Xbox boss Chris Lewis recently described as "not far removed from reality” analyst estimates of 300,000 Xbox 360 consoles for the format’s initial European launch on December 2.