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UK Kinect shortages not 'managed,' says Microsoft exec (but totally welcome, we presume)

In the fall of 2006, global shortages of the Wii were met with accusations of "managed scarcity" – the polite way of saying that Nintendo was keeping inventory low to help weave a tale of unprecedented demand. Four years of steady sales (well ... let's agree on three-and-a-half) has helped clear Nintendo's good name; however, similar accusations are evidently being levied against Microsoft, which has been accused of managing shortages of the Kinect in the UK and Ireland to "stimulate demand," according to

"Anyone who actually works in the business of producing new technology, especially hardware technology, will know that these things are never managed," general manager for Xbox in the UK and Ireland Neil Thompson told GI. "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."

With a goal of 5 million units in consumers' hands worldwide by the end of 2010, and a post-Black Friday milestone of 2.5 million already sold, Microsoft doesn't seem to be in the business of withholding inventory. Thompson said that the decision to launch in November was a "balance," and Kinect could have waited "until February, March when we could hit some bigger launch numbers but then we miss Christmas." Also to blame for any shortages at retailers: that worldwide release. Xbox UK marketing manager Stephen McGill told GI, "With Kinect we launched around the world in three weeks. That was a huge task. No region is being penalised."

As much as we want to trust a Microsoft marketing manager, we thought we'd instead conduct an entirely scientific poll to determine if there's any global concern with Kinect shortages.

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