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More Xbox delay rumours

Problems with the Intel motherboard this time

More rumours have emerged that the Xbox's November 8th US launch could be delayed or scuppered. This time the finger is being pointed at problems with Intel's motherboard, with analysts at Thomas Weisel Partners saying that sources had told them a design fault could lead to manufacturing delays which could set back the console's construction by up to a month. As a result Microsoft would only have half as many Xboxes available on launch day as it had been hoping for, or it could choose to delay the launch to allow the full inventory to build up.

Microsoft were quick to dispel the rumours though, insisting that all 600,000 plus units would ship on time - surely a first for a Microsoft product. "There is absolutely no problem with the design of Intel's motherboard", according to the Microsoft statement, which added that Intel have been "a fantastic partner" which has "delivered on everything to date". Intel also denied there was any problem with their motherboard.

The Xbox has been plagued by such rumours all year. In February it was revealed that a small Florida-based holding company owned the Xbox trademark, with their CEO threatening to force a name change for Microsoft's console. Eventually they were persuaded to back down in return for some loose change Bill Gates found down the back of his sofa, averting a possible crisis. Then in April panic broke out on the stock markets over the apparent absence of final development kits for the Xbox, with some leading publishers shedding up to 10% of their share price overnight. A month later EA boss Larry Probst caused more problems when he complained that beta systems still hadn't been sent out to developers, when in fact Microsoft had started sending them out just days earlier, right on schedule.

Hopefully then this latest rumour is just that - another rumour, circulated by gullible stock market analysts and nervous rivals. If not, we should hear more soon as the Xbox homes in on its American debut.

Source - CBS Marketwatch / Financial Times

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