Monday, November 07, 2005

Xbox 360 - Hype Suspected As Shops Sell Out Even Before The Console Release

A friend of mine was positively drooling as he told me how he will be receiving his pre-ordered Xbox 360 on 2nd December. "Why aren't you getting one?" he asked, as if to question my very sanity. What a short memory he has, forgetting when the original Xbox was released. Does no one remember the hype and the sudden shortage of consoles, with massive publicity suggesting that it really must be an awesome product if demand is so crazy? The fact that the hype was (allegedly) orchestrated by Microsoft and high street outlets and the stock deliberately kept down for the initial rush seems to have slipped some peoples minds.

Well here we go again. A similar strategy appears to be unfolding, with the hype aimed at the children who are more than able to close the deal with the end purchaser - the parent(s) - by hounding them from now 'til Christmas. As reports:

"Senior Xbox chiefs have also admitted they might not have opted for a worldwide debut had they known the supply issues they would be faced with, especially given the amount of marketing the launch will be accompanied by. Indeed, some sources in the games industry are now beginning to look at the upcoming shortages as an actual strategy on Redmond's part. A sell-out debut, so the theory goes, could create the impression that the system is incredibly desirable and sort-after, rather than merely inadvertently under-supplied." (see here for the complete article)

So I strongly recommend that you do what I'm doing - tell the kids that they'll have to make do with their two Xbox consoles, the PS2, PC and Gameboy Advance and wait until next summer, when (hopefully) the Xbox 360 will be adequately stocked by retailers, there will be a greater choice of games, there will be greater competition (don't forget the impending release of the PS3!) and maybe the prices will be lower. Plus I may get it at about the same time as my friend who pre-ordered it months ago. I myself am a marketing manager but would never employ the same short-term dirty trick twice (actually, not even once). Well Microsoft probably will get away with it (the lowest common denominator determines much of what the powerful get away with these days, be they politicians, trans-global corps or whatever) but they won't be getting my hard-earned cash. Well, not yet anyway.

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