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December 12, 2005

360 Supply & Demand & More

Well it's perfectly clear now. The 360 is a hit; way bigger than anybody suspected. So let's ask some stupid demand planning questions. Who screwed up in MSFT's manufacturing orders department? I mean they've got people saying stuff like this (as of 12/8):

Market research firm, NPD Group, the top game-statistics firm in the industry issued its November report stating Microsoft sold 320,000 systems in the month of November. That’s roughly 80,000 shy of the company’s 400,000 expected units.

That makes no sense at all. Are they sold out? Yes. Are they not selling enough? Yes. Did they miss their target Yes? Anyway, selling more than a quarter of a million per month of anything that retails for 300-400 bucks is a pretty hefty cashflow. So get it right already guys. You have no excuses. Well. They do, and it sounds like this:

"...I'd hate to be in the marketing department at Xbox. It's a no-win situation. If I were a marketing dude (and I'm surrounded by them every day), then every red blood cell in my body would be selling this amazing new thing called the Xbox 360. We're not talking about a Cuisenart here. This is a high-definition, next generation gaming experience. I'd be shouting from the rooftops. Except... the core audience (read: pre-sold audience) for this product is having difficulty getting their hands on one. And the more I shout about it, the more gamers (and the general public) becomes bitter about the "shortage." So instead of using my marketing degree, I've got to bite my tongue until January, or even February - when supply starts meeting demand again. Except that I don't have a marketing degree, and I don't work at Microsoft, or at Xbox

I don't think I'd mind being that guy.. except the profile picture on his blog is too small. In fact, I think the profile pictures on most people's blogs are too small.

Anyway, I've had a serving of Halo2 over the weekend and I'm getting re-hooked into the gaming - stuff I haven't done in a while. I don't feel left out of the early adopter stuff since not even Wal-Mart has any 360s on hand, and I can basically wait until January or so. The fact that I can play my favorite games on the 360, except for Splinter Cell (grr), is the best news.

It turns out that there are a few bloggers who have come out as gamers. Or rather I should say more m'softies who blog as well as game. That's good news, so I'll be linking to them from time to time. At the top of the Gamer Pile would be Major Nelson.

Here are some I find intersting:

  • Grumpy Gamer
  • Thinking With My Fingers
  • XBox (official, boring) Blog
  • Joystiq (of course)
  • Scoble has the best dialog on the supply and demand issue. I can't find where the discussion is anywhere that says Flextronics is still making them. I know I read it. Even Google Desktop missed it.

    BTW Joystiq has a fascinating little reminder that not too many years ago, the very thought of Microsoft being a leader in gaming was unthinkable. I know I killed that thought, as I pounded away on my Sega Saturn with the home version of Virtua Fighter.

    Oh and one more thing. The French have made Halo 0. A 2d side-scrolling shooter. Hee Haw!

    Wait Wait There's More!
    I cannot prove it, but I swear to God that somewhere I wrote that the thing to do in the next Splinter Cell was to let Sam Fisher go undercover. It turns out that I was prophetic. That's exactly what they're doing in Splinter Cell Four.

    Posted by mbowen at December 12, 2005 10:27 PM

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    There's that XBox Live gamer tag! I knew you would have it up soon. If you don't already read them, Penny Arcade, has had some info regarding the 360 that I hadn't seen anywhere else. For example, at the bottom of this blog page they describe how they wrestled with it to enable the Media Center Extender abilities.

    Posted by: matt at December 13, 2005 07:36 AM