Microsoft Ramping Up Xbox 360 Shipments

Microsoft Corporation announced today an “inventory surge” which will put “two to three times” the number of Xbox 360 gaming systems into retail channels beginning this week. Since its launch in November 2005, Microsoft’s new gaming platform has been hindered by limited availability in the U.S. and European markets.

“Today we have turned a major corner,” said Peter Moore, corporate VP of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “With more consoles on their way to retail, 80 games available by June, and new content and experiences coming to Xbox Live all the time, there has never been a better time to own an Xbox 360.”

Microsoft is also promoting a number of forthcoming Xbox 360 games from major game publishers which should increase the appeal of the console system to gamers looking for the latest and greatest, graphically intense experiences, as well as content expansions for Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, Project Gotham Racing 3, Perfect Dark: Zero, and Kameo: Elements of Power. Forthcoming Xbox 360 titles include:

  • 2006 FIFA World Cup (EA SPORTS)
  • Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (Electronic Arts Inc.)
  • Blazing Angels (Ubisoft)
  • Burnout Revenge (Electronic Arts)
  • Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires (KOEI)
  • Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Bethesda Softworks/2K Games)
  • Far Cry Instincts Predator (Ubisoft)
  • FINAL FANTASY XI (Square Enix Inc.)
  • Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (Ubisoft)
  • Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend (Eidos)
  • Major League Baseball 2K6 (2K Sports)
  • Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis (Rockstar Games)
  • Rumble Roses XX (Konami)
  • Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
  • Texas Hold ‘Em Poker (free!) (Riverbelle)
  • The Outfit (THQ)
  • Top Spin 2 (2K Sports)
  • X-Men: The Official Game (Activision)

According to Microsoft, more than 85 percent of Xbox 360 consoles that are connected to the Internet have downloaded games, movie trailers, and videos from Microsoft’s Xbox Live service. Xbox 360 systems will launch March 23, 2006 in Australia and New Zealand.

Although Microsoft’s move to push the Xbox 360 harder in the retail marketplace as manufacturing capacity comes online, costs go down, and more games become available was expected even before the systems were launched, today’s announcement follows just on the heels off Sony’s announcement that it’s forthcoming Playstation 3 gaming console wouldn’t be available until November 2006, giving Microsoft a full year to establish the Xbox 360 in the market ahead of the current leader in console game systems.