MS denies engineering Kinect shortages

"It's absolutely not a strategy."

Microsoft has denied engineering Kinect shortages to stimulate demand.

"Anyone who actually works in the business of producing new technology, especially hardware technology, will know that these things are never managed," Neil Thompson, the general manager for Xbox in the UK and Ireland, told Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz.

"Everyone else loves to think that they're managed, but they will know it's not. It's a function of coming to market with a brand new innovation and you have to scale up."

Thompson's comments back up those from Don Mattrick, Microsoft's president of the Interactive Entertainment Business, who insisted last month that anyone who wanted to buy a Kinect in time for Christmas should have placed an order by the end of that week or risk disappointment.

Mattrick claimed he wasn't just cynically trying to spike sales with his prediction. Thompson explained why.

"The choices you always have are: do we launch in November or do we wait until February, March when we could hit some bigger launch numbers but then we miss Christmas," he said.

"So you're always in this fine balance, saying 'well, we want to give people the product as soon as we can, but you can't switch on the manufacturing like water.' It takes time to scale.

"It's absolutely not a strategy, we want to get the product into consumers' hands as quickly as we can because we think it's exciting, it's innovative. We wanted to do that for Christmas and that's what we've done. We've built a really strong supply and resupply chain over the coming weeks."

Microsoft's new motion-sensing hardware has flown off shelves since its 10th November UK launch. It moved 2.5 million units globally during its first 25 days on sale.

Microsoft reckons it'll shift five million by the end of the year.

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