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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Xbox does second round of 360s

Xbox does second round of 360s

"Those who missed out on the early Xbox 360 mania may get a second chance this week to find the new game system in stores.

Meanwhile, among those who managed to purchase the first systems, a small percentage already are shipping them back to Microsoft for repairs.

Major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy ran out within hours of last Tuesday's launch.

"We knew demand would outstrip supply for some time," says Circuit City's Jim Babb. "I have been told we'll get additional supplies, so I can only advise customers keep checking back with stores and on the website."

Microsoft's Molly O'Donnell says the company has "a weekly replenishment strategy." The first follow-up shipment "is on the way, and it should be on retailers' shelves by the end of the week or for the weekend."

Microsoft won't say how many of the $300-and-up systems were available at launch. American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy estimates 300,000 to 400,000 have been sold. The company expects to ship as many as 3 million worldwide within three months; the 360 launches in Europe Friday and Japan Dec. 10.

While Microsoft benefits from the buzz created by quick sellouts, McNealy says, "I think they would have been happy to have sold another million if they could have. They just didn't have them."

Meanwhile, Microsoft is acting quickly to address early reports of crashes and glitches. "We are doing everything we can to take care of gamers who are having problems," says O'Donnell, who says the rate of complaints is below the 3% to 5% expected with new electronics products. (Those with problems should call 1-800-4MY-XBOX.)" [more]

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