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UPDATE: Microsoft Claims Xbox on Schedule for Nov. 8

15 Aug, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi

Microsoft spent Tuesday defending its Xbox launch schedule of 600,000 to 800,000 console units on Nov. 8, in response to a report by Thomas Weisel Partners analysts Eric Ross and David Readerman that claimed as few as one-third of the promised Xbox units could be available at launch, due to a possible flaw with Intel’s motherboard.

The report claimed this flaw could delay the manufacturing date for Xbox by a month, creating a ripple effect for the other components.

In response to media inquiries regarding a report on Xbox from Thomas Weisel Partners, Microsoft Corp. issued the following statement:

”We're not commenting on specific Xbox video game system manufacturing efforts, but we can say that there is absolutely no problem with the design of Intel's motherboard. Intel has been a fantastic partner and has delivered on everything for Xbox to date. We're still marching toward our planned Nov. 8 launch date for Xbox.”

Historically, the launch of new video game systems are plagued with some type of manufacturing problems. Last year, Sony played catch-up from PlayStation 2’s Oct. 26 launch until early this year, due to manufacturing problems that caused shortages. Sega also faced problems with its Sept. 9, 1999 roll-out of Dreamcast. Nintendo 64 was in short supply at its launch due to manufacturing problems.

Analysts caution that the same type of launch problems that plagued Sony could impact Nintendo and Microsoft this fall. With such a late launch window, there’s not much time for retailers to recoup software sales this year on the new systems. Analysts expect every Xbox and GameCube to be sold this fall, no matter how many units ship.

Microsoft c.f.o. John Connors previously stated the company expects to ship between one million and 1.5 million Xbox units by Christmas. Nintendo is expected to ship an additional one million plus Gamecube units by Christmas in the U.S.

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