Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Mission failure: I wasn't trying really hard, but I didn't manage to pick up an Xbox 360 today. Circuit City was apparently sold out within 15 minutes of opening as was Fry's Electronics. I read some surprising reports during the day that Costco had actually got some units on the first day -- usually, it seems to me, they don't get these bundles on day one. So, I went by the Costco in Carlsbad -- plenty of Xbox 360 games, but nothing to play them on.
I must say that if I had seriously thought this was possible, I might have spent the night in line.
It will be interesting to see how the next couple of weeks go in the video games retailing world. Microsoft is attempting a worldwide launch, but from what I'm reading on various gaming blogs, they're not even close to meeting demand in the states and they're going to start selling in Europe and Japan over the next two weeks.
If this shortage is short-lived -- and I'm cynical enough to suspect that it is a marketing ploy designed to generate buzz -- then I'll applaud Microsoft for its ingenuity. If Microsoft can't meet demand by Christmas, then I think they're going to be in for some serious bad-mouthing. Already Internet storefronts are suggesting that they may not be able to fill orders until January or February and the guy at Fry's Electronics was suggesting that they may not get additional units in until after Christmas.
It'll be interesting to see how this all pans out -- and how Sony responds. Word is now out that the PS3 will retail for less than $400 when it makes its debut. And the PS3 will have a built-in Blu-ray drive capable of playing Hi-Def movies. But will Sony try a worldwide launch or will we in the U.S. end up waiting three or four months after the console makes its debut in Japan?