Microsoft Claims Xbox 360 Shortage

After selling 1.3 million Xbox 360s over the holidays, Microsoft's head of global marketing says post-holiday demand has created a...shortage?

It may be hard to believe that at video game console that's been on the market two years could suddenly be in such high demand that retailers are experiencing shortages
—but that's exactly what Microsoft's head of global marketing Jeff Bell said in an interview with Reuters. Microsoft sold 1.3 million Xbox 360's during the end-of-year holidays, but Bell is claiming the company failed to judge post-holiday demand and didn't get enough units to retailers. "We are really running short of product here in the United States," said Bell. "You could say we misjudged demand."

Microsoft's claim of Xbox 360 shortages lands just one day before market research firm NPD is due to announce video game sales figures for January 2008. Bell's comments might be intended to position lower-than-expected Xbox 360 sales figures as the result of a shortage, rather than reduced consumer demand.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 has been on the market since late 2005, and competes primarily with the Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3, which both launched a year later. After a year, Nintendo is still not able to keep up with demand for it's surprisingly popular Wii console, and anticipates retail shortages for its system could extend through spring of 2008.

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