Microsoft representatives have confirmed that the Australian and New Zealand launch of the Xbox 360 has been delayed from March 2nd to March 23rd due to what the company describes as a “short term manufacturing challenge”.
With stock still limited in North American and Europe, the move is not unexpected, and follows several weeks of rumors of an even longer delay, as Microsoft has struggled to manufacture enough consoles to meet demand.
The delay in Australia is particularly notable since the Australian market represents proportionally Microsoft's largest market in terms of current-generation console market share – although this has been in large part due to the popularity of “modding” Xboxes for other uses beyond gaming.
At the same time, Microsoft confirmed that the launch in South Korea would still go ahead on February 24th and that the launches in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore are still scheduled for March 2nd. This will make Australia and New Zealand the last major markets in the world to receive the console, around four months after the initial North American launch.