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XBox (Games)

Walk-Ins Get 360 In April? 66

IGN has a piece talking to retail stores across the country about the upcoming 360 launch, and it doesn't look good. From the article: "According to retailers in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Miami and Houston, there will be mass shortage of Xbox 360 units on the targeted launch date of November 22. IGN contacted dozens of stores around the country, including Gamestop, EB Games, Electronics Boutique, Target and Walmart. One short-tempered clerk at a Gamestop in New York estimated that Xbox 360 units will not be available for walk-in customers until April. That's right, April."
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Walk-Ins Get 360 In April?

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  • I'm not so sure this is artificial scarcity anymore. It's one thing to create a buzz with a brief period of scarcity. It's another thing to extend it so long that you eat up all of your much touted lead time on the competition.
    • Why? A couple of months *is* a brief period. It does no good to simply have the scarcity last only a few weeks. You need the long delay to make the angst palpable. And then they'll announce "Ooh, we're getting new shipments in we weren't expecting!" as the idiots slaver hungrily at the door each week.

      I have no doubt this is still all artificial.
    • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <<basscadet75> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Saturday November 12, 2005 @03:31PM (#14016399)
      I'm not so sure this is artificial scarcity anymore. It's one thing to create a buzz with a brief period of scarcity. It's another thing to extend it so long that you eat up all of your much touted lead time on the competition.

      And it's another still to rely on clerks at GameStop for reliable information.

      Seriously, I don't get this. Do you rely on the cashier at Wal-Mart for information on your favorite director's next film or for the latest info on HD technology? Why are people constantly quoting counter clerks at game stores for industry info? These guys know nothing. It's a truly bizarre phenomenon - every time I walk into a game store I see half a dozen people literally hovering over the counter talking to the clerks about games, then I'll bet it's those same people who hit up sites like this with the "info" they've gleaned. To me, this carries no more weight than asking any random person on the street the same questions and then posting their answers.

      These guys make minimum wage to ring up your purchases. That's all they do. They do not have industry "contacts", they do not talk to developers or publishers or manufacturers. They ring up purchases and they vacuum the store at closing time. That's what they're paid to do and that's the extent of their real knowledge. Anything else you get from them is, at best, something they've read in a magazine - which is the same thing you could do yourself.

      I kinda get the feeling that both the clerks themselves and the guys who chat them up for info to post on the net actually like feeling like they have this little "shadow" game industry unto themselves. They like starting rumors; they don't even want real info. A couple years ago I actually worked for a publisher and I'd go into the GameStop near my company all the time, often with my company colors on (we had jackets with our company name on them). Not that I'd tell anyone anything if they asked, but not a single person ever even tried getting info from me, even if they were talking to the counter clerk about my company's games with me standing right next to them! The clerks themselves must have known who we were (a lot of us frequented this GameStop, and they knew we were in the neighborhood), but not a single one of them ever tried to pump us for info either. It was kind of funny, but it definitely made me think that real info is not even what these guys want - juicy info is what they want, whether or not it's true. Truth is not really on their radar, and that's most likely the case with this Xbox 360 rumor just as it is with everything else.
      • Do you rely on the cashier at Wal-Mart for information on your favorite director's next film or for the latest info on HD technology?

        No. But, on the other hand, do you ask store managers for supply information? Yes. They're totally different things. A clerk doesn't necessarily need to know about what he's selling (it'd be much better if s/he did, but that's neither here nor there), but a manager damn well better know what inventory is coming into the store.

      • Sorry to contradict you but quite a few of the employees at video games stores DO know what they are talking about. It's their job. I used to work at EB and we prided ourselves on knowing as much as we could about the industry. When were things coming out? Who canceled a release and why? Will there be enough Xbox 360's for release day? What types of gameplay are in what game? Our ability to know our subject is what seperated our store from the Gamestop's of the world. And our cu
    • It's one thing to create a buzz with a brief period of scarcity. It's another thing to extend it so long that you eat up all of your much touted lead time on the competition.

      One could make a case for either option. However, until I see more evidence I'm interpreting as trying to spin lack of demand into buzz. Losing lead time to competition doesn't tell me anything. Look at how delayed W95 was and Vista still is, just to name two of many.

      My own observations are that since 2002, I've had to go pas

  • I'm wondering how much you could get for one you buy via walk-in at Target or Wal-Mart. Is the Xbox 360 the new Beanie Baby?
    • Where I live, getting one on walk-in will be extremely difficult, as well. The Wal-Mart I used to work for is getting eight. One EB apparently took 200 pre-orders and is getting 14. I don't know how many the other Wal-Mart or Target in town are getting, but with numbers like that, I wouldn't hold my breath. Also, of the 8 that are coming, only two are the deluxe package. Six are the $300 basic package.
      • >>One EB apparently took 200 pre-orders and is getting 14.

        That is why I don't preorder stuff. You give them your money, and *maybe* they'll have it in when they're supposed to.
        • Or you could give them no money and have 0 chance to get it on launch... It's one thing to say that about games. If you preorder a game, you are 99% guaranteed to get that game on or before the official day of release. It is another thing to say that about a system who's manufacturer is delibrately limiting the supply of their system. Pre-ordering is a smart thing to do. Go ahead, take your chance at a Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Set up a tent and waste your time. Chances are that 100 other people have the
  • by Knara ( 9377 )
    As has been said by many people, this is really only a problem for people who, for some odd reason, desperately *need* to have a new videogame system. If it was cancer drugs, this'd be a problem. Since it's a console system, I really gotta ask, "what's the big deal?"
    • As far as the capitalist market economy is concerned, there really isn't a difference between cancer drugs and Xboxes. People would make a big stink if Roche or some pharm company created artificial shortages to hype-up their cancer drug, to bring it more into the papers, and for good reason. People's lives could depend on the drug. Supply vs demand- how many people want to go out and buy cancer drugs vs the screaming throngs of suburbanite kids with daddy's money just waiting to go out and score an Xbox 3
    • I need one...

      Because I'm tired of the old one.

      And...I have more money than time. So if I can BUY a better video game experience, I'll do it.
  • Rush Job. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Brantano ( 908473 ) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:53PM (#14015956)
    Not enough consoles to keep up with demand...check
    Lie and say your doing it on purpose, only shipping a certain amount to each business...check
    Give developers only 3 months to work on finished dev kits..check
    Have most of the major launch titles pushed back out of the launch list...check
    Have most of your games look hardly next gen on a normal tv...check
    Have a game that cannot even reach 30fps at 720p and must upscale...check
    Make ebgames/gamestop screw over most of your fans...check

    Make your new incredibly powerfull console look like a rush job...priceless
  • One of two things is happening here:

    1) Microsoft deliberately sent out limited units so that they could get media attention for selling out everywhere on the first day.

    OR...

    2) Microsoft dropped the ball and actually didn't make enough, resulting in the shortage.

    Knowing M$, the former seems far more likely than the latter.
    • I actually think it is a combination of both of those... here's my theory: MS wanted to launch significantly ahead of the rest, but they also wanted to have a machine that will compete with systems that will be out nearly a full year after them. So, they need tomorrows console at todays prices. My theory goes that MS built what is a $500+ machine right now, on the expectation that it will be a ~$400 machine in 6 months. They are selling them at a significant loss right now, just to get them into consumer ha
      • While MS may take a significant loss on each console, they stil want to sell as many as possible. Think about it - they lose money on the console but make it back on the games. If you want the games to sell, you need to have plenty of consoles out there, or the games aren't going to move. Say what you will about MS and their hype machine, but the NEED to sell lots of 360s.

  • astroturf! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by will ( 6647 )
    Could this be any more blatant a puff?

    Some tousled corporate parasite is right now celebrating his ability to generate authentic grassroots excitement in a tailored halo demographic that combines youthshare with techster credibility and so cements the brand in the minds of 20something pre-life-crisis shoppers as both a technology leader and a style marker.

    What they don't realise is that this is slashdot on a saturday night and all he's getting is six year old kernel hackers and grumpy old toads like me, who
  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @02:40PM (#14016158)
    One short-tempered clerk at a Gamestop in New York estimated that Xbox 360 units will not be available for walk-in customers until April. That's right, April.

    Oh, well, if a grumpy clerk at Gamestop says it, IT MUST BE TRUE!!!!!
  • If Microsoft had announced XBox 360 availability from April 2006, would that have been better? Okay, so there would have been more time to develop games, that's good, but personally I'd rather be able to get an XBox 360 not too long after launch, because I bothered to pre-order, than have that warm fuzzy feeling that absolutely anyone can go and buy an XBox 360 at launch.

    • The point is Microsoft is banking in part on the fact that they are first. If most people can't buy before Sony or Nintendo goes to market, they lose this advantage (or worse, they become "last year's" console).

      Oh, and it isn't all about you. Just so you know. ;)

  • by Gogo0 ( 877020 ) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @03:11PM (#14016315)
    xboxmarketing.slashdot.org
  • This works perfectly with my plans anyway. I would rather save up my money for Christmas gifts now and splurge the income tax refund check then (nothing better than having the US taxpayers subsidise my gaming habit). Too, I suspect there'll be more backwards compatibility issues dealt with by then. (Yes, I know; why whine about BC when I have an xbox already? Because my xbox has suffered mightily at my hands these last few years [not to mention my damn roommate's cat fur floating up all over the place] and
  • And processor availability was one of them. I'm sure M$ is making their own shortage, but I can only wonder if it's really a IBM fab capacity issue.
    • Apple MADE the low availability themself, of course IBM would have made loads of cpus for Apple if they wanted to have them. But obviously Apple only took the risk for a few but still wanted to be able to have more very fast if needed....
  • Woo Hoo! (Score:2, Funny)

    by indytx ( 825419 )
    Just in time for my income tax rebate!
  • GameStop (Score:4, Funny)

    by tprime ( 673835 ) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @03:55PM (#14016506)
    One short-tempered clerk at a Gamestop in New York estimated that Xbox 360 units will not be available for walk-in customers until April


    I've had folks at GameStop tell me that the PS3 might still make s "surprise" arrival by the end of this year. I am certain they all have their finger on the pulse of gaming.....
    • >"I've had folks at GameStop tell me that the PS3 might still make s "surprise" arrival by the end of this year.
      >
      IGN Reporter: "PS3 may ship before XMas! I got the word from Angry Bob at GameStop, and confirmation from tprime on Slashdot!"
  • Even if this is an artificial shortage... what happened to there being a global launch? If you can afford to launch world-wide, you ought to be able to get enough units in stores.

    The PS2 shortage was due to the excitement of the system. Sony had dominated over Nintendo in the previous generation. Everyone wanted the next thing from Sony. There was no possible way for them to satisfy demand.

    For XBox being number 2 or 3 (depending on who you ask and where) in the rankings, there is no reason for there to
  • Yes. This is clearly because Microsoft couldn't meet demand. After all, it's not as though they're one of the richest corporations in the world. It's hard for them to do a coordinated launch of hardware like this - they just don't have the money to mass produce.

    In seriousness, I have zero doubt that the 360 is going to be in more stock than they're hyping. They've predicted 3 million sales in the first 90 days. With a Christmas season, figure 2.5 million of those have to be in December. Which gives you an i
  • "One short-tempered clerk at a Gamestop in New York estimated that Xbox 360 units will not be available for walk-in customers until April. That's right, April."

    It took me six months to get my hands on a Playstation 2 due to similar "shortages." Of course, it only took me another ten minutes to realize that this was because artificial shortages are a great way to cover up a system that has almost no worthwhile games available at the launch, or any time soon afterward.
  • ...People who are interested in the PS3 will probably decide to wait, as it's seeming that Sony is leaning towards a late spring/summer release. Why wait five months when if you wait seven you can get a machine that's more powerful and can play those next-generation discs?
  • Which I did from games-addiction.com. I'm sure there are tons of other retailers that will let you pre-order them, and with more orders they can probably get priority from the distributors.

    Just my 2 cents.

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