A number of retail sources continue to tell us that they are still encountering problems obtaining additional stock of Xbox 360 consoles, as well as Kinect add-on units. It has been known for some time (and Microsoft has previously confirmed) that the supply of Xbox 360 consoles was much tighter this holiday season due to higher demand than projected.
Microsoft has been working to resolve the issue and get more consoles into the distribution pipeline, but apparently availability is still tight and some units are completely out of stock at some distributors. One independent retailer told us, “I can still get the 4GB units and add-on hard drives for those units, but I can’t get any Elite consoles; and I don’t expect the situation to get much better till late February or early March.”
And again, there is the prediction of late February or early March before all of the consoles versions are plentiful on dealer shelves. In addition, a number of retail sources tell us that availability of Kinect continues to be tight in both the add-on and the console bundle versions. While some large retailers have received some inventory, smaller independents are simply out of luck.
While some claim that Microsoft ordered “light” to drive up demand, those we have spoken with don’t seem to believe this is the case. Sources suggest to us that it is a matter of lean parts supply availability coupled with the limited number of maximum possible units that are able to be built.
Sources tell us that suppliers are building as fast as they can and new inventory should be available shortly, but no one seems to want to say how soon we will see availability improve.