The logistics of a project as massive as a near simultaneous worldwide launch for a major new piece of gaming hardware was obviously very much underestimated by Microsoft who themselves said that if they’d known what a huge operation it was going to be they simply wouldn’t have bothered, but the scale of the shortage is starting to become apparent as independent shops around the UK find out their allocations of machines. We’d heard that the UK was possibly going to get 100,000 units in total (for perspective: we had 250,000 PSPs for launch and it’s still suffering a chronic shortage) with rumours that there wouldn’t be a major restock until March. It doesn’t exactly give a huge head start on Sony when only a few hundred thousand will have 360s, does it?
Anyway, back to my original point. While the major chains like GAME are getting around a hundred each, the independents are getting…fifty?
Thirty? That’s the number of original Xboxes that the VGC got for launch, after all.
You wish…they’re getting four – two full systems and two core.
Is it any wonder that big business is suffocating the indies when they’re getting treated like that? They may not have the money to buy such vast numbers (although they’d actually pay more per unit) but they’re the heart and soul of the industry, filled with specialised knowledge and a genuine passion for games. Most GAME employees don’t know anything, and you could swap the games and consoles for pretty much anything else and find the knowledge of the staff was similarly lacking. I can remember going in there and being looked at like a madman when I asked for a DS case.
I’m lucky enough to be able to get one from an independent but only because I was first on the list (I ordered during E3), I had money down, and I’m friends with the owner. Everyone else is probably going to have to wait months or go and make a deal with the evil empire to get one, and possibly both, which frankly sucks.