Replenishments, Recall Rumors, and Replacements

There is a lot of bad information floating around the internet, blogosphere and gaming forums so I wanted to take a moment to address them as best I can.

Replenishment: There are a couple reports of retailers saying they won’t have units for weeks or months (or worse.) Generally speaking, this is not true. We are shipping units constantly. I mentioned in my blogcast this weekend how the distribution team has secured air freight space and are flying units into the distribution channels on a regular basis. Some retailers have a backorder wait list, and might not have units that will be on shelf for some time, and some retailers might allocate more units to one store over another, but all stores that have placed orders are getting replenishments regularly. I have checked and have confirmed that units are on the ground and on their way to retailers this week. Those will go from our warehouses to retailer warehouses?what happens after that is up to the retailers. We are communicating with them all the time, but it is impossible for me (of all people) to know what retailers will get what shipments on what days. Once we get them into hands of retailers, it’s up to them to get them to their individual outlets. Don’t get all angry at me/J/Robbie/the Xbox team if you keep checking exactly once a week and you are not getting the answer you want. Let’s all have a dose of reality here.

Again, as I have said in the past, or rather what Robbie Bach the Xbox VP has said, we are on track to ship 2.75 to 3.0 million consoles in the first 90 days. In the Xbox forums and in my comments I am seeing (incorrect) theories that we are holding back inventory to keep the price inflated/keep hype going. We have shipped every console we’ve made, and we’re making more as fast as we can. The reality is that there is significantly more demand than supply, and will be for some time. It’s the year 2005 and you are gamers?you hate to wait. You don’t like to wait for load times, you don’t like to wait for your new game to come in and you certainly don’t want to wait for your new Xbox 360. You want it NOW. I can tell you without a doubt, that we are NOT holding units back, and we’re not creating hype for hype’s sake. We want you all to have a console as much as you want them. It’s significantly more complex to manufacture a hardware product like the Xbox 360 then it is to burn more CD’s of Windows if inventory gets low (as an example.)

Recall Rumor: There is no recall. Did I mention that there is no recall? That’s all there is to say. There is NO recall. It’s a rumor..period. I have personally responded to many threads on the Xbox forums trying to stop this rumor in its tracks. If you go into a retailer and hear it?feel free to (nicely) correct them. Oh, and in case you missed it?there is no recall.

Replacements: In the cases where people have a box that is experiencing problems call 1-800-4MYXBOX. The fine folks on the phone will expedite your case as quickly as possible and get you a replacement ASAP. Currently, we’re turning around replacement/repaired units very quickly – in as few as 5-7 business days. The support reps have been trained to troubleshoot your problems over the phone. I won’t go into all the details, but when a return is necessary, we overnight a prepaid box to you, which allows you to overnight your console back to us. In most cases, we troubleshoot/repair/replace your Xbox 360 in 1-2 days, and we overnight it back. We have planned for this, and we have consoles, parts, and trained employees to handle the volume.

We live in a time of instant communication (as is evident by you being able to read this moments after I hit ?~publish’) and people are tracking issues in real time. This has never been done before in the history of retail. We live in a very interesting era; I remember not having a blog, or forum to post on as I went to 7 stores each week when I lived in Connecticut as I looked for the Dreamcast VMU in 1999. After 8 weeks I finally found one. I did not have a platform like a blog or forum to complain or yell ?oWaaaa…..I want it now!? (to paraphrase Veruca Salt .) There was no way for me to share and exchange information with others who were trying to get their hands on one.

What I am trying to say is that keep things in perspective, relax and soon enough you’ll have an Xbox 360 in your hands and you’ll be playing all the new games, downloading the cool stuff from marketplace and all will be well. For those who have been patient and have kept their cool…thanks. Trust me when I say we want you to have one as much has you want one.