UK Kinect launch stock is "tight"

Queuing may be a good choice.

If you want to buy Kinect next week you ought to consider queueing - three separate shops have told Eurogamer stock will be tight.

Microsoft's initial shipments will be limited, and the word is that shelf refills will happen in December.

Zavvi told us "Kinect is not in full supply at the moment", but reassured that "we are working closely with Microsoft to ensure a full allocation to satisfy our customer demand".

"It looks like stock could prove a little tight for launch," HMV echoed, "but that's partly because of the huge demand we've seen on pre-order and, of course, there's a world-wide launch to cater to as well as various bundle offers."

ShopTo confirmed that "initial stock will be limited and/or tight".

Microsoft has likened the demand for Kinect to the demand for a new console. The maker reckons five million Kinect cameras will be sold to the world by the end of 2010. Such claims wouldn't be made without the knowledge that manufacturing could meet those targets, surely.

"We are getting daily and weekly updates from Microsoft regarding when further stock will be made available to us so that we maximise on the potential of Kinect," Zavvi informed us. "Kinect is pre-ordering very well for us, and we are fully supportive of Microsoft's marketing campaign."

HMV promised to "definitely have some units for when the product goes live in-store". "We're also very confident that there'll be regular drops throughout the run-up to Christmas so that no consumers miss out."

And low stock can often be a blessing in disguise, the shop with the dog and a grammar phone added: "Obviously you always want more to sell, but it's also a nice problem to have in that any occasional shortages may also help to fuel people's desire to own one, thus supporting the long-term appeal of the product."

Could Microsoft be holding back supply on purpose?

ShopTo's evidently under the cosh, and is trying to "fulfil all orders of Kinect (solus)" but can't guarantee release-date delivery for any orders placed after the end of September. That's because of "high demand". However, "plenty" of the 4GB Xbox 360 S plus Kinect bundles are still available there.

Kinect launches across the UK on 10th November. GAME is the official UK launch partner and will open a combined 450 Game and Gamestation shops across the country at midnight the night before. The main event will be held at Oxford Street's GAME store in London. Mystery special guests are promised.

Neither GAME nor Microsoft responded to request for comment. Can't imagine they're busy.

The Kinect camera comes with a copy of Kinect Adventures and costs 130. The Kinect 4GB Xbox 360 S bundle costs 250.

Kinect launched in the US on 4th November - yesterday.

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