NEWS - Wednesday, November 7, 2001
Microsoft mum on Xbox launchThe number of Xbox launch units remain vague, but Microsoft continues to promise over 1 million units by the end of the holidays.
The launch of Microsofts Xbox console is a little over a week away, but even now there is no official word on the number of Xbox units that will be available on November 15. Originally, Microsoft promised between 600,000 and 800,000 units at launch, but it later backed away from that forecast and has since remained silent about the specific launch numbers. Microsofts silence has sparked speculation from industry analysts that the actual shipment numbers could be as low as 300,000 units. Industry sources have further informed GameSpot that Flextronics, the company responsible for the manufacturing of the Xbox console, originally experienced a variety of assembly line issues at its plant in Guadalajara, Mexico, which subsequently delayed the initial manufacturing of the console. When contacted for comment regarding the specific number of launch units, Microsoft remained ambiguous. "The important number is not how many [units] will be available on one particular day, but how many will be available to gamers and retailers throughout the holiday season," the company said in response to GameSpots inquiries. "With its manufacturing facility in Guadalajara, [Flextronics] is able to produce 100,000 units per week at full speed, and there will be between 1 and 1.5 million Xbox units available this holiday season."
Some specialty retailers such as GameStop have already stopped taking preorders for the launch of the console. A variety of Xbox bundles are still available for preorder from retail chains such as Toys "R" Us. Regardless, although the Xbox should be relatively easy to find around Christmas, the console may be extremely difficult to locate at launch.