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Microsoft: Supply Constraints Hit Xbox 360 In December
Microsoft: Supply Constraints Hit Xbox 360 In December
January 13, 2011 | By Leigh Alexander

January 13, 2011 | By Leigh Alexander

Although Microsoft has seen strong sales of its Xbox 360 in recent months, surging over the holidays on the back of Kinect's launch, the company doesn't expect to lead hardware sales when December's NPD results come out later today -- and it blames supply constraints.

Xbox Live program manager Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb said on Twitter that Microsoft "ran out of consoles" at the end of December, and that as a result those on the Xbox team "don't expect to win [December]."

Nelson warned that Xbox 360 hardware supply for January and February would be "tight as well," but that December's NPD results should bring "likely amazing [year-over-year] growth numbers for Xbox."

The console's been doing brisk business at retail. Between June and October 2010, Xbox 360 hardware sales rose 63 percent over 2009. And the company beat that rate in November alone, with sales up 68 percent year over year.

Gamasutra analyst Matt Matthews found that when comparing average weekly sales rates, November 2010 saw the Xbox 360's best pace ever with 344,000 units per week. Overall, the console sold 1.37 million units in November.

If sales remained at the same pace, the Xbox 360 would have been on track to see its first 1.7 million-unit Christmas -- when the data is released later today, we'll see how the constrained supplies will affect these projections.

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Emperador Alencio
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At least in Puerto Rico it can be found everywhere, same for wii and ps3.

Kez Keenan
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If supply constraint means being able to walk into any store in Vancouver and buy one then yes, they are quite constrained.

Mark Harris
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Soooo, how long are we going to continue with the whole "company X is wrong, my anecdotal evidence proves it!!!" routine?

Perhaps the supply constraints were in high volume markets where they thought sales could have been even higher without those supply issues?

I mean, it could just be marketing crap and false numbers... and I'm open to that. But let's at least give them the benefit of the doubt until they are proven to be full of it.

MS hasn't been in the habit of providing blatently false numbers lately, especially when they are being very clear about sell in and sell through for Kinect.

Amir Sharar
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It seemed that way in Canada. There were a few massive shipments but more often than not they were out in big box retailer stores like Future Shop and Best Buy.

John Giordano
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Standalone Kinects were definitely sold out, but I saw stacks of X-box systems piled throughout many stores in California, including Kinect bundles.

Fábio Bernardon
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My impression as well. Fry's had plenty of bundles, but I haven't payed attention to standalone units.

Leon T
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When the Wii was supply constrained it was outselling everything. Funny how that does not apply to the PS3 or 360 supply constraints.