Allard slams stock fears

Over 1,000 members of the European games trade were able to sample Xbox 360's launch line-up at the lavish X05 event in Amsterdam.

Fears quickly emerged over initial hardware stocks, but senior execs from both sides of the Atlantic were eager to counter any overly-negative suggestions of a launch ‘crisis’.

“Rather than thinking of launch as one day, we see it as a six-to-12 week window,” UK boss Neil Thompson told MCV.

“Demand is exceptionally high, so we're not going to meet all of that on day one. But this is part of the decision to have Europe at the forefront of the launch window.

“We could have decided to launch six months later."

"All retailers I've spoken to have been very positive about the message I've given them," Thompson added.

Microsoft’s Corporate VP and Xbox evangelist J Allard was more pointed: "The allocation issue is kinda ‘BS’," he blasted back. "EA's Gerhard Florin thanked us on stage for effecting a global launch, and in no small way hinted that rivals should follow suit."

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft remains tight-lipped on allocation figures, but senior publishing sources revealed to MCV that a figure of 600,000 units by Christmas in Europe was being touted, with up to 200,000 earmarked for the UK.

Retailers are expecting to find out their initial individual allocation details next week.


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