No Xboxes for Xmas
Computer game fans today cleared Xbox 360s from the shelves as soon as they arrived at city stores fuelling fears many will be disappointed in the run-up to Christmas.
Hundreds queued last night to buy the long awaited £209 silver Xbox when it was launched in the UK at midnight.
Stores and shoppers complained that Microsoft had dramatically underestimated demand for the new machines as most shops have already sold out of stock because of a limited supply of just 50,000 for the whole of the UK.
One said,” If u haven’t pre-ordered one, forget it this side of Christmas.”
The Xbox 360, which sells for £279.99, including a package of accessories is set to be one of the “must have” items this Christmas, along with rival Sony’s Play-Station Portable console.
Xboxes are now changing hands at three times their original price. Auction website eBay is selling them for between £400 and £700.
Yesterday Microsoft admitted gamers would miss out, but said it was working around the clock to meet the massive British demand.
Peter Moore, Xbox marketing boss said “We have got two factories working 24 hours a day. It’s not like baking bread. It has 1,700 parts. We have to make them, pack them and ship them”.
“We are trying to get everyone satisfied as quickly as we can but demand is huge”.
Asda reports that queues were building up by late afternoon yesterday at its super centres in Manchester and Birmingham. It predicted that Asda’s allocated 1,000 Xboxes will sell in 30-minutes.
Asda spokesmen Tony Page said “Our gripe is that Microsoft has seriously underestimated demand and hasn’t produced enough to go round”.
HMV warned pre-orders are double the amount of consoles it has been given and Woolworth’s said it could have sold its supply 50 times over. Currys, Dixons and PC World will put the Xbox on sale today.
The xbox plays games, CDs, DVDs and MP3s and downloads pictures. Up to 5.5 million are expected to be sold worldwide by June.