It's always hard to gauge a launch of new consumer product as large as the 360, but let's be honest ... there isn't a lot of good news for Redmond here. One used to say that at least it sold well, but now the Financial Times is reporting that the 360 won't even meet sales estimates. That report continues to say that gamers will be experiencing shortages through at least this month.
So let's tally the score card here:
That's not exactly a rocket ship to the moon in terms of a new product, particularly one that is supposedly going to start making Microsoft some cash as opposed to just being a tax write-off. Recently, Microsoft announced an external HD-DVD drive for the 360 ... a plan previously suspected but until recently denied by the old MS. Depending on how all the pricing works out, this might make for an interesting twist when Sony finally makes it to the stage, but all of this rolled together really begs the question of whether Microsoft simply jumped the gun here or not. If so, the comparisons to Sega's DreamCast might be more worthy than previously thought.
If Nintendo manages a Spring 2006 launch, this might play well into their hands. Consumers unwilling to gamble $400+ on a potential dud will be far more willing to pick up a sub $200 machine with, while less bells and whistles, also a lot less troubles. Mumblevine has it that Sony won't be putting anything on the shelves until next Christmas, at the earliest, though ... so Microsoft has plenty of time to fix any hardware issues, get some better titles in the library and hopefully make the external HD-DVD an attractive alternative to the PlayStation 3's built-iin Blu-Ray.
If not, Microsoft's vaunted expirement might not have the pay-off Redmond wants.
tagged: game, gaming, xbox