Kinect shortages 'absolutely not' a strategy

"You can't switch on the manufacturing like water," says Xbox GM

Kinect stock shortages experienced by retailers are not a marketing ploy, according to Xbox general manager Neil Thompson.

However, he did say that thin supply of the motion control device is down to a compromise between getting the new technology to market quickly - before Christmas - and reaching as many people as possible.

"Anyone who actually works in the business of producing new technology, especially hardware technology, will know that these things are never managed," Thompson told


"Everyone else loves to think that they're managed, but they will know it's not. It's a function of coming to market with a brand new innovation and you have to scale up.

"The choices you always have are: do we launch in November or do we wait until February, March when we could hit some bigger launch numbers but then we miss Christmas," he explained.

"So you're always in this fine balance, saying 'Well, we want to give people the product as soon as we can, but you can't switch on the manufacturing like water.' It takes time to scale."

Last month, industry analyst Michael Pachter suggested that stock shortages for both Move and Kinect were ploys to create more demand for the devices.

"It's absolutely not a strategy," Thompson told GI.

"We want to get the product into consumers hands as quickly as we can because we think its exciting, it's innovative.

"We wanted to do that for Christmas and that's what we've done. We've built a really strong supply and resupply chain over the coming weeks."

Kinect might have launched globally, but it hasn't seen consistent success from territory to territory. It's had a slow start in Japan compared to elsewhere.