Microsoft Confident It Can Maintain 360 Supply

In the wake of strong holiday sales, some anonymous rumors started to surface that Microsoft was warning retailers that the 360 would be out of stock until after the holidays. Not so, says the hardware manufacturer.

A Microsoft representative tells Shacknews:

While we are tightly supply constrained, we have a constant flow of new units coming into the channel to keep up with holiday demand. We forecast 5 million Kinect units would be sold to consumers through the end of the year and we are confident in our ability to get those units to retailers in time for the holiday shopping season.

Yesterday, Cnet's Don Reisinger cited a note to investors from analyst Michael Pachter estimating Microsoft will post the top hardware sales for the month and be the only platform to enjoy year-over-year gains. He projects that Microsoft sold 1.075 million 360s, Nintendo 975,000 Wiis, and Sony 650,000 PlayStation 3s.

I spoke with Pachter briefly who told me Microsoft gave him a similar statement to what we received saying the company is "supremely confident" in its ability to reach the 5 million sold goal. He reiterated his opinion that the stock fluctuations seen in stores makes it appear that Microsoft is managing supply, possibly to stay right on the brink of running out. The only way he feels a true shortage would arise is if they exceed the 5 million goal by good margin—a circumstance he wouldn't completely rule out.