As we have been tracking over the past several days, it comes as no surprise that on the Kinect launch day supplies are tight. In fact, supply is actually tighter than we expected. Now publishers are weighing in, suggesting as many retailers have, that demand for Kinect will outstrip its supply this holiday season.
We spoke to several retailers today who told us the following: “Despite the fact that my store had a number of pre-orders, my distributor was not able to ship me any connect units to sell on launch day.” “We only received the exact number of Kinect units that we needed to fill pre-orders; we received no extra inventory to sell.” “Our store received one unit to sell despite the fact that we had pre-orders and customers waiting to buy Kinect.” “Our distributor shipped us no units to sell, but luckily I had seen this problem before and had already placed orders with other sources. While I will be able to satisfy my pre-orders, it will come at the price of making nothing on the sale of these units.”
The reviews have been mixed for Kinect, but despite some negatives, overall the reviews are favorable; this should do nothing but fuel the demand for Kinect. The only problem is that distributors are not even telling retailers if or when they might get additional Kinect units to sell. Microsoft’s claim that they will be able to move 5 million Kinect units before the end of the year could come down to their ability to obtain inventory, which could mean that they might not be able to get enough product built and onto dealer shelves before the end of the year.
Publishers that have Kinect titles are, of course, worried as they have a stake in this. “With a high attach rate, we would hate to miss out on sales because Microsoft isn’t able to get enough product in stores for consumers to buy. It would be a missed chance to capitalize on the ability to sell our titles,” one publisher source told us.
Right now, if you want Kinect, we suggest checking big box retailers that are less popular sources for video games and video game accessories. This is likely your best bet to lay your hands on one. Sources do assure us that they expect the situation to improve in the short term, with a burst of units available for sale during Black Friday.