When Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 console on November 22nd, 2005, there were widespread shortages at first that made buying it near to impossible for most people on that day at its regular price. Within a day, eBay had auction listings for Xbox 360 units with prices that went up in the thousands of dollars. Because of that past history, many people expect the Xbox One console will also have those kinds of shortages when it launches this November 22nd.
However, Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer says that people who want to go to a store on that day to buy an Xbox One should have a better chance of getting one this time. In an interview with Game Informer, he states that Microsoft is trying to balance the amount of Xbox One units that have already been pre-ordered by consumers with the ones that will be put on store shelves in less than 80 days.
It's not a yield problem, it's us trying to manage the hardware side. I want parents who don't think about pre-ordering electronics to be able to walk in and have a chance to find a box. There might be a line, but I don't want it to be that if you didn't pre-order in September, you can't get one. That doesn't feel like a great consumer experience.
There's still no official word on how many pre-orders Microsoft has received for the Xbox One, nor how many units will be shipped to the 13 launch day markets. Spencer does say, "Availability should feel a lot better than it did for 360." We still think that demand for the Xbox One, at least on November 22nd, will be immense, so it remains to be seen if Spencer's statements turn out to be true.
Source: Game Informer | Image via Microsoft