Yesterday’s post about the madness surrounding the 360 launch turned into one long diatribe against GAME, as many things can do, but it turns out it’s not only the independents who are getting a raw deal on this. I spent much of the day in my games proprietor of choice, the Video Game Centre, while my car was in for its MOT and got to see a surprising number of people looking for preorders (all were told that they’d be lucky to get one before February) and witness some of the existing orders being given the bad news. One was angry and all were disappointed, but most decided that their best chances were with the shop and decided to stay on the list.
Anyway, some of the more interesting titbits came from conversations with owners and managers of various other places. First of all, it appears that all small independents are getting the same package of two cores and two premium packs. They’re still getting fucked and it still sucks.
The other thing to note is that many of the big stores are getting fucked, so it seems that it’s Europe in general that Microsoft are bending over and violating. The manager of one of the GAME stores in Bournemouth (he’s a sound guy, even if the company isn’t) said that his store had taken 90 preorders and, although they don’t have exact numbers yet, have been told by head office that they’ll be lucky to get half that number. The other one was that even the huge Toys R Us superstore in Poole, a few miles away, can only get ten. Popular online retailer Play now has a message warning that they won’t be able to fulfill any more orders and, according to the SPOnG forums, have even emailed people who ordered months ago with the bad news.
Although I’m happy because I’m getting one on 2nd December, I saw how disappointed a lot of people were and you have to wonder why Microsoft have even bothered releasing it at this point when they can’t make enough to make it worthwhile. Surely it would have been better to have held off for a couple of months (they’d still have a head start on Sony) and then come here with 250,000-500,000 machines instead of the pitiful number that we’re currently looking forward to.