Across the Internet today, various reports sprung up alleging that Microsoft might be in the process of deliberately engineering a shortage of Xbox 360 hardware, upping demand for its fledgling console around the world.
Nose-tappers are claiming that Microsoft is trying to organise what has been described as a ‘Holiday Stampede’ for 360 by keeping shipped-through hardware from retail at peak periods and snatching headlines in the process.
SPOnG thinks this highly unlikely. Microsoft would much rather be announcing strong sales over the coming busy period than high, unfulfilled demand. However, assuming there’s no smoke without fire, there are two distinct possibilities for the source of this news.
The first, and most likely is that Microsoft wants the public to believe there is going to be a shortage, thus upping demand, selling through strongly, and capturing the inevitable "Thing A witnesses riot at Toys'R'Us".
The second, perhaps equally likely, is that Microsoft has had some trouble in the manufacturing process for Xbox 360 and is spinning a way around shortfalls in its stock.
Of course, Microsoft doesn’t comment on rumour and speculation, though common sense states that the original theory of a deliberate withholding of stock is almost certainly a bum steer.
As ever, we’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned for more surprisingly sage market analysis as we countdown to the 360 launch.