Sources from the retail sector are telling us that they are not only running short of 250GB Xbox 360 consoles, but inventory levels of Kinect are not where they would like them to be; which is causing some stores to be out of stock again. Apparently, this is not just a North American issue, with retail sources in the U.K. chiming in to us that they are likewise experiencing some difficulty maintaining enough stock of Kinect units.
While a number of analysts have suggested that Microsoft is limiting the numbers of Kinect being shipping in an effort to keep demand high, sources tell us that this apparently is not the case. Microsoft has never had a history of using these kinds of marketing tactics in the past, and it is doubtful that they would resort to this in order to drive higher sales.
Actually, the whispers of those claiming to be in the know admit that it seems to have more to do with manufacturing and parts than with anything else. These reliable sources tell us that they are ramping up production of Kinect, but a number of factors (including a wait for some key parts to be delivered) have slowed down the build process to less than optimal; but it is expected Microsoft is working with manufacturing partners to churn out as many Kinect devices as they can to meet demand.
It seems that the only place that it is really easy to get Kinect is in Japan where the add-on has had a slow start; but this is nothing new to Microsoft and its attempts to reach the Japanese market. It seems in other regions that it is hit or miss, depending on the retailer and location. It does seem that at least in the U.S. availability isn’t impossible, with a number of retailers telling us that they have some units in stock today; but they admitted to us they have not a clue if they will be getting any more before the Christmas holiday.