March 21, 2006 9:17 AM PST

Microsoft steps up Xbox 360 distribution

Microsoft plans to increase its weekly distribution of the Xbox 360 game console by at least twofold, the company announced Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference.

The software giant said the addition of a new manufacturing partner, Celestica, will allow it to ship "two to three times" more Xbox 360s to retailers each week. Celestica joins Wistron and Flextronics in manufacturing the system and components for Microsoft.

The announcement coincides with Microsoft's release of its new spring line of games. The company also announced additions to its downloadable digital-content zone, Xbox Live Marketplace, which it says is being used by more than 85 percent of connected Xbox users.

Microsoft suffered a shortage in Xbox 360 supplies in the United States, following the November launch of the device, and some frustrated would-be buyers were forced to wait for their consoles. The company blamed the shortage on component production issues.

Microsoft also blamed the component shortage for its revenue miss for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2005. During its earnings call, the company said it had sold 1.5 million Xboxes, falling short of its prediction of 2.75 million to 3 million units sold in its first 90 days on the market.

Included in Xbox 360's new spring line of games are reinventions of classic favorites such as "Lara Croft Tomb Raider," "The Elder Scrolls" and an addition to the Tom Clancy series.

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16 comments

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Yeah well...
A lot people held out on buying the 360 (myself included) because of the anticipated PS3 spring launch. With that pushed back, Microsoft a little more time on stage to show off what its got. As always, its the title line-up that will make or break the Xbox, not how many units they can scramble together before the onslaught later this year.
Posted by Dynamicdom (4 comments )
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Don't know about you...
But I know a bunch of hardcore, myself included, who held out because, quite frankly, they didn't want to deal with the hassle of the supply shortages. I don't like bundles that make you buy five awful games and one decent game. I don't like paying $200 to $300 more for the Core system (which I wouldn't be caught dead with in the first place).

The hardware comes first. When Microsoft makes the market available to the gamers, the games will come. Most of the 360's developers have flat out refused to release games at 100% complete because Microsoft has been dragging their feet on the supply issues. That is unacceptable.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
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360...Who needs it?
"...Celestica, will allow it to ship "two to three times" more Xbox 360s to retailers each week." So 3x0 is still zero...haven't seen an XBOX360 yet, except for a faulty one on display that crashes.

"Microsoft suffered a shortage in Xbox 360 supplies in the U.S." Don't they mean "suffering" a shortage?

Personally, even with the PS3 delay coupled with the huge potential of the Nintendo Revolution, I have no desire to purchase a 360.
Posted by rthoma4 (4 comments )
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ME..............
I want one. That is important to me. Sure bundles have been off and on available; however I will not pay more than MSRP for anything. The PS3 is not superior to the 360 really in any way as far as gaming is concerned. The cache on the processor is a bottleneck as shown and makes it Equal to a Pentium 4 in sonys own words, which is frankly not great. Also the GPU is not a good as the 360s. (I am a NVIDIA and Intel diehard so I am not prejudiced). It is certainly an impressive device but will offer nothing in the way of improving gaming. I go to a number of retail outlets every few days in my area here in Idaho I have seen core systems but I want a premium system so I am glad to hear the news.
Posted by Hotdogah (6 comments )
Link Flag
Not needed here. Too many of them.
I could literally, if I had the spare money, go out and buy about 10 360 premiums. Really, there's a heck of a lot available here. I even saw an unopened one on sale at a pawn shop (premium) for $400 (CND).
And trust me, there is demand here. Not as strong as a major US city, but still a good demand. Well, I know at least 20 people in my city with one...and I'm not a guy who knows a lot of people.
--------------------

Thing is, people should really wait until each console has been out for a bit. Fow all we know, the PS3 might hjave as many empty promises as the PS2. Though an internal 60GBHD and a cell does look nice, nobody will know how much better either of the two consoles (Nintendo is excluded, their target is different) will really be.
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
Who needs it? lol, the fools have spoken
Ryan Thomas said, "Personally, even with the PS3 delay coupled with the huge potential of the Nintendo Revolution, I have no desire to purchase a 360."

That's fantastic, Ryan. Despite your lack of interest, Microsoft already has two million + 360 in the hands of eager players world wide. Every analyst in the world agrees this number will climb to 5+ million by the end of June and 10 - 12 million by Nov '06. Try not to let this fact alone destroy you.

So while you have no interest in purchasing a 360...you can celebrate skipping out on a PS3 as your chances of getting one this year will most likely be bleak with Sony's copy-cat style world launch tactic.
Posted by Maxwell Studly (97 comments )
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Is this for real?
I've been hearing so much from Microsoft saying it was going to
be easier to just walk into a store and buy a 360 but there
doesn't seem to be any progress. I still have yet to see boxes of
360s available in stores. This has got to be hurting them and
the developers who make games for the console. I just want to
be able to walk into a store a buy a 360 with no hassle of finding
one. Is that too much to ask for?
Posted by jrfabito650 (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Steps up? Nothing has delivered since DECEMBER!
I never see any when I go into the store at Best Buy , Circuit City, Game Stop, or Comp USA.

Therefore, nothing has delivered since DEC.

They are phantom and they don't exist!
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
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Timing is still EVERYTHING
The local BestBuy stores have been getting 360s on a irregular interval, but they've still been getting them. The EB Games I usually visit has been receiving units as well in that period, but it's still in relatively small quantities for them. Plus, it appears both Costco and Sam's Club have been getting (bundled) units in as well.

360s must being showing up [i]somewhere[/i]; I still occasionally check prices on eBay, and from what I've seen lately the premium over list that people are willing to pay for both Core and Premium systems (as opposed to what certain sellers are wishing they can get) has been [i]significantly[/i] less than what it was a couple of months ago.
Posted by make_or_break (3747 comments )
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Good
Xbox 360 is the leader in next generation gaming. The only reason it had delays in shipping for the christmas season was because it shipped by boat from China to all the 3 major distribution areas. The new games will be very next generation in not only graphics but game play. I love the Elder Scrolls and Tom Clancy series. Xbox Live is the BEST,yes best, online gaming ever and there will ever be. It might have its downtimes once every month and you might be booted from a server but that happens on anything due to online gaming. The voice quality is extremly well.
Posted by fatbutch (5 comments )
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