After months of feeble Xbox 360 shipments, Microsoft's suppliers are finally up and running at full speed, the software giant said this week. The result? Within a week or so, retailers worldwide will be getting massive shipments of the hugely popular video game console.
According to Microsoft, the component shortages that dogged the company during the critical holiday 2005 selling season are over. Microsoft says it will now be able to ship two to three times the number of consoles it was previously shipping to retailers. It has also added a third manufacturing partner to keep up with the blistering demand.
The improved production couldn't come at a better time. Last week, Sony announced that it was delaying its next-generation PlayStation 3 (PS3) video game console, which is widely seen as being on par with Xbox 360, until November 2006. That means Microsoft will have this entire year to build a lead on its chief competitor, though the PS3 is ultimately expected to outsell the Xbox because of Sony's huge installed base. But the PS3 will itself be supply deprived through the end of the year, meaning that many customers could turn to the Xbox 360, which will then be widely available.