In case you haven’t been paying attention, Microsoft’s Kinect is the premier gift for gamers this holiday season. Microsoft sold over 2.5 million Kinect units in less than a month, and reception has been phenomenal around the world; to the point where several markets are seeing demand that outweighs supply. Preliminary reports suggested that Microsoft might be manufacturing shortages to build hype — an accusation that follows short supply of any popular tech toy — but Microsoft execs in the U.K. were willing to set the record straight. Neil Thompson, Microsoft’s general manager for Xbox U.K. and Ireland, confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that the shortages are “absolutely not” a ploy.
“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. It takes time to scale,” Thompson told GamesIndustry.biz. “It’s absolutely not a strategy, we want to get the product into consumers hands as quickly as we can because we think it’s 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.”
Despite shortages, Microsoft expects to sell 5 million Kinect sensors in 2010.