When some gamers went wild about the launch of the XBOX 360 in North America, observers wondered about the cause:
- Was the shortage artificially created by Microsoft?
- Was the demand created by a few gamer crazies who buy the first new gamer box, no matter the brand.
- Were the shortages caused by the 44,000 sold on eBay?
No matter, what the cause, Microsoft marketing did its share in hyping the potential frenzy. As I documented in an earlier posting, Microsoft reported on the expected lineups and shortages a day before the gaming computer went on sale. The hubris then extended to other parts of the world.
Microsoft marketing got caught flat-footed after the stories it planted in computer magazines failed in their forecasts of continuing worldwide shortages. For instance, one headline read, "Microsoft launches console in Japan, says it will be in short supply for months." PC World quotes Peter Moore, Microsoft vp of marketing and publishing, home and entertainment division speaking about the alleged shortage in Japan:
"Demand is just stunning, overwhelming," he said, after Microsoft launched the gaming computer in Japan.
How stunning was the demand, Mr Moore? Just 38% of available units sold during the first weekend, reports Enterbrain, publisher of a Japanese game magazine, "Famitsu."
"I feel sorry for them since they had put a lot of effort into promoting Xbox 360 in Japan," adds Deutsche Securities analyst Takashi Oya. I don't know that you can feel sorry for hubris.
Microsoft made a big deal over the Xbox 360's design being Japanese-inspired. When you compare it to the new units from Sony and Nintendo, you understand the underwhelming demand in Japan.
The Firing Squad site has a list of 11 design errors Microsoft made of the Xbox 360:
Mistake #1: Overheating CPU or GPU
Mistake #2: No MSN Music
Mistake #3: No HDMI [high definition tv] Support
Mistake #4: 20GB [hard drive] is Too Small
Mistake #5: Microtransaction Security
Mistake #6: No Web Browser
Mistake #7: No WMV-HD [Windows movies] DVD Playback
Mistake #8: No MPEG-4 AVI [audio-video interleave] Playback (i.e. XviD, etc)
Mistake #9: No System-Wide Video Calibration
Mistake #10: Poor DVD Playback Quality
Mistake #11: No Pressure Sensitive Face Buttons