NEWS - Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Microsoft Seeing Xbox Shortages in U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is seeing shortages of its Xbox 360 video game console in the United States, as the company failed to anticipate strong post-holiday demand, an executive said on Wednesday.

"We are really running short of product here in the United States," Jeff Bell, head of global marketing for Microsoft’s games business, said in an interview. "You could say we misjudged demand."

The comments came a day before market research firm NPD is expected to release video game sales data for January and Bell said Microsoft was hoping to "manage expectations."

"We’re literally out of stock in many stores. We think this will have an impact on our sales," Bell said. "It may cause the overall industry number to be down a little bit.

"Retailers have been really upset, they are on allocation. It is a lag I think we’re seeing in January and that may continue into February, then as spring ramps up, we’ll be able to meet that demand."

Microsoft sold nearly 1.3 million Xbox 360 consoles in the United States in December, when the entire video games industry gets a boost from holiday shopping.

The Xbox 360 competes with Nintendo Co Ltd’s (7974.OS: Quote, Profile, Research) Wii console, as well as Sony Corp’s (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) PlayStation 3.



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