In response to Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter accusing both Microsoft and Sony of “managing” (read: lying about) shortages of Kinect and Move, Microsoft’s Neil Thompson, Xbox manager in the UK and Ireland, told GamesIndustry.biz (reg required) that this simply was not the case.
Anyone who actually works in the business of producing new technology, especially hardware technology, will know that these things are never managed. Everyone else loves to think that they’re managed, but they will know it’s not. It’s a function of coming to market with a brand new innovation and you have to scale up.
The main reason for the shortage, according to GI.biz’s interview, was that Microsoft knew they had to hit Christmas, but didn’t have the manufacturing capabilities to pump out what they assumed would be enough Kinect units to hit the holidays, which they would have been able to do had they aimed for March but missed the holidays.
It’s absolutely not a strategy, we want to get the product into consumers hands as quickly as we can because we think its exciting, it’s innovative. We wanted to do that for Christmas and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve built a really strong supply and resupply chain over the coming weeks.
I judge Mr. Thompson’s words to be well-trained spin management. “Of course we’re running short! Our device is so amazing that people are knocking down the doors to get at it! We can’t keep up!”. Regardless, until we see hard, indisputable numbers – numbers we will never receive due to the neutering of the NDP Group – we will have to take the words of anyone involved in either device – Move or Kinect – with a mound of salt.