November 18, 2005 4:25 PM PST

Xbox 360 mania slams Circuit City site

The frenzy to land an Xbox 360 has begun.

Minutes after Microsoft's next-generation game console went on sale Friday afternoon at Circuit City's Web site, it was hobbled by a deluge of traffic.

A representative for the online counterpart to electronics retailer Circuit City said the company's site saw a "tremendous" traffic spike at 2 p.m. ET, when the company began taking Internet orders for the eagerly awaited Xbox. (Specific traffic numbers were not immediately available from Comscore, which tracks Web use.) Microsoft has predicted it will sell 3 million consoles within the first three months following the Xbox 360's release.

Other retailers had taken preorders for the Xbox, but Circuit City was the only online store selling the consoles Friday.

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"The Web (store) did become slow for the majority of customers," acknowledged Amanda Tate, a Circuit City spokeswoman. She declined to specify how many Xboxes were sold or how many the company made available through its Web site.

Circuit City's Web site sold out of its available consoles in less than three hours, Tate said.

The Xbox goes on sale at brick-and-mortar stores at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Those customers who purchased a console from Circuit City's site will have to pay extra for shipping to receive the machine by Tuesday, Tate said.

Shoppers will likely be camping out in front of their local electronics stores and long lines are expected.

12 comments

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Circuit City 360 Sale
Circuit City had NO problems on the website taking customer credit card numbers and having them check the box to get other offers, but then the site would crash. Where did the credit card numbers go and why did they take them if they arent shipping the boxes out? The site was inaccessible when one got to that point, and I for one want to know what happened to all the credit card numbers they absorbed today. Will they show up somewhere else later?
Posted by Mooby (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No acknowledgement by CC of problem
To follow up with the above, I e-mailed and called Circuit City to find out a.) whether or not I actually had an order or not b.) to ask why they took my credit card information if they weren't shipping and c.) to ask why they didnt plan for this on the site. The messages back are FORM letters telling me that Xbox 360 is 'out of stock'--duh---looks like Circuit City is running from this one...they wont even acknowledge that there was a problem.
Posted by Mooby (3 comments )
Link Flag
Hey.... what's that site written in?
Everything ended in .do... Hey, that's not .Net. You mean a bad developer can write code that doesn't scale in java? Wow... they should have hired 1000 IBM consultants.
Posted by sampson27 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
.do makes me think struts/J2EE
I suspect that the ssl application servers where just not scaled to handle the load. I got lucky in that they claimed sold out, but I had a box in the cart and just waited about 10 minutes after the sold out inidcation and then checked out when I figured the load had lessened and I was able to get my order through and got a confirmation email today. I think it was a matter of deployment configuration as lack of hardware. Java/.Net/php etc all would have melted down or slowed to the crawl if they don't have the power behind them.
Posted by netmindstorm (1 comment )
Link Flag
Long lines
"Shoppers will likely be camping out in front of their local
electronics stores and long lines are expected."

Overhyped and low first day inventory, they really want to see
chaos at the stores. :P
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Problems on the website - I saw the carnage
The Circuit City representative and some of the comments posted were a little understated. I have high a speed line, cable albeit. The site was a mess. First off, they were 15 minutes (governemnt atomic time folks) making the "Add to Cart" available on the sale page (was just a for sal on Friday bitmap); picky maybe, but these are computers and they did not need to have a runner carry a message to the main office to switch on the web page. Secondly, you immediately had delays and failed messages; invalid password, invalid email address (hey, I never change that). I made it to the credit card page at 2:17. Then I submitted and never saw the light of day on that website for 2 hours. I was hitting it with multiple pages trying to get back the elusive take my money please page. Till finally they took it down. Yes down, the whole site. Only the twinkly "We're closed" right now page; actually states "We're updating inventory or the like". The link name is Closed, so go figure. Twice actually, to clear all the traffic I guess. Then as if God were smiling down, like it matters as if I get my XBox, I got in right after the site came up the second time. Stock was still to be had, they were just kidding that inventory weas being updated. The web site was responding. I made it past the credit card page. Would it be so, would I get on the list. Confirm, damn you, confirm. I was giving it all it had, just like Scotty. Boom. An order confirmation number. From two hours of utter cursing frustration to bliss and joy with one web page; all over a toy. I'm a bit embarassed and confused, but my XBox will be here in 1-2 weeks. Well that was a waste of 3 hours. Now back to work ... I wonder what's on TV.
Posted by mkmcgregor (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Walmart had no problems
Oh wait a minute Walmart.com sold out of Xbox 360 far before Circuit City even started selling it!!!!! Circuit City is in a death march because custojmer service is nil with those rejects & Walmart will stick the nail into circuit city's chapter 7 filing.
Posted by Intelrules (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cnet the Microsoft Spin Network
So in how many more ways can Cnet spin the up coming Xbox 360? Let me try:

Womans life saved by making call for new Xbox 360!

World Hunger on the down slide because of Xbox 360 purchase.

The mania over Xbox 360 has put an entire school campus in jail.
Posted by sabot96 (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Silly
Some zealots always surprise me with their opinions based on bigotry rather than fact. Go away sony puppet.
Posted by jase1125 (18 comments )
Link Flag
Last Place...
Only reason they are being slammed is because the company is not used to such a demand, with Best Buy and Walmart they are in dead last...
Posted by bobj123 (94 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Black Friday slams circuitcity.com
I attempted to purchase two Audiovox Home Kits for my XM receiver on-line at the price of $29.99 each. The site took my credit card and shipping information but went no further, the site crashed. After spending last night on the phone being told the system crashed, I still could not order it. I attempted to order today. The price went up $20 each overnight and the company refuses to honor the price despite their site crashing. I have spoken to three different managers and two of their supervisors all stating they will not honor the price from yesterday and admitted no orders were received on Black Friday. How can this company function with two major crashes in a week?
Posted by gncorman (1 comment )
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