A Wal-Mart exterior shotAccording to a reliable source who works at Wal-Mart (but would like to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons), the world's largest retailer is stockpiling Xbox 360s for their first ad of the new year.

Our source has seen inventory in a back room that must be held for that first ad, which presumably would be in effect from January 1st or 2nd of 2006. According to our source, "the actual sales people were upset about it, because they know that the attach rate to a console [meaning mad accessories, yo] can easily match the price OF the console - which adds huge numbers to the stores sales figures before the end of the year."

Microsoft's other official launch partner actually did the same thing with an ad hold for the new Xbox this past weekend, so you can bet that there's a method to this (marketing) madness. Now that the 360's a bit easier to find these days, these types of announcements don't hold quite as much force as before, though you'd be really lucky to randomly walk into a store which has the new systems in stock and ready to be sold. Campers, ready for one more go?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Far Cry Instincts on 360 says Gamestop