Microsoft Xbox 360 Ramp Unlikely to Be Rapid

Up to 5.5 Million Xbox 360 Consoles to Ship by June 2006

by Anton Shilov
10/28/2005 | 10:08 PM

Microsoft Corp. officially unveiled the number of the Xbox 360 game consoles that it would be able to ship before June, 2006, when the company’s fiscal year ends. Apparently, the company would ship from 4.5 to 5.5 million of its next generation gaming machines, which is lower than analysts had expected.

 

Analysts expect the Redmond, Washington-based software giant to ship between 1.5 million and 2 million consoles. It is unclear whether the estimates proclaimed earlier this year, according to which Microsoft would ship 3 million Xbox 360 game machines in 2005, would come true. Observers believe that Microsoft may have issues with manufacturing of the new gaming machine.

The three companies contracted by Microsoft to build the Xbox 360 are Flextronics International, Wistron and Celestica, but Celestica plant is expected to come online in January, 2006, Reuters news-agency notes.

While due to high building costs of game consoles initially it would be financially better for Microsoft to ramp up manufacturing slowly, higher pace would allow the company to penetrate the market more widely, capturing market share away from Sony and its yet-to-be-released PlayStation 3.

The software giant will officially launch the Xbox 360 game machine in North America on November 22nd. The release will followed by a December 2 launch in Europe and a December 10 launch in Japan.

Microsoft Xbox 360 console is based around microprocessor developed by IBM, high-definition visual processing unit designed by ATI Technologies, I/O controller engineered by SiS and some other key components. The gaming machine will provide a broad set of multimedia capabilities in addition to games. Depending on the bundle, Microsoft Xbox 360 will cost $299 or $399