Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Memory Chips linked to XBox 360 shortage?

Most popular videogame question in my inbox these days is "Why can't I find an XBox 360 yet?"

Microsoft promises more are coming, but our sister paper, the San Jose Mercury News, reports
that one reason Microsoft is having trouble is that a German company, Infineon Technologies, is having trouble making enough of the chips at the right speed for the game console.

Peter Moore, head of Microsoft's game division, wouldn't comment to the Mercury News about the memory chip shortage and blamed the lack of 360s on store shelves on component shortages. The good news is Moore said consumers can expect to see more of the units on store shelves next month.

Industry rumors run rampant of all types of component failures with the box, some causing it to overheat and others causing it to lose information. The 360 has more than 1,700 components in it. In a month-long test with an Xbox 360 last month, I didn't have any problems.

But whatever the problem is, Microsoft is really ruining what was a great strategy to bite into Sony's market share with its second gen Xbox console. Gamers should've been playing games right now, not waiting on units. And each week that goes by, Sony's $500 PS3 unit gets closer and closer.

It's due in the fall, hopefully in plentiful supply.


clay said...

My 2 Xbox 360s have both operated perfectly the entire time I've had them... I think the stories of overheating units have been blown out of proportion.

A couple of points worth mentioning: No one knows exactly when the PS3 is going to be released... there's a lot of industry speculation that it won't be until Thanksgiving, by which time there will be at least a few million 360s out there. (Let's not forget that Sony will probably encounter similar shortages when the PS3 is released.)

And the cost of the PS3 is still unknown. It could be as high as $900. Sony is going to take a bath on the PS3, but they can't afford to lose TOO much on a gaming console, especially if people starting buying them instead of standalone Blu-Ray players.

Langston Wertz Jr. said...

Good points Clay. I hear fall for PS3 and I hear $500 but you never know for a unit that is going to come out of the box with HD-DVD, which will cost at least $500 alone.

It's going to be an interesting race, but Microsoft does need to get some systems out on store shelves.