Xbox launch quantities uncertain

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19 — As Microsoft Corp. ramps up production of its upcoming Xbox video game console this week, game publishers and some analysts have started to question whether the company can make its target for the number of units available for the November launch.

MICROSOFT HAS PREVIOUSLY said it would ship 600,000 to 800,000 consoles when it launches the new system on Nov. 8 in the United States and between 1 million and 1.5 million by year-end.

But the software giant will not know how many of its forthcoming Xbox consoles it will have available on the much-heralded launch day until production at a plant in Mexico hits full capacity, a spokesman said Wednesday.

"We won't know real, day-one quantities until we're at peak production," said James Bernard, a Microsoft spokesman. "We're really being cautious about our day-one quantities."

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