Senior analyst P.J. McNealy of American Technology Research has stated that Microsoft's much publicised component shortages for the Xbox 360 are over, suggesting that the company is back on track to sell 10-12 million units worldwide by year-end.
According to McNealy's report, Microsoft is likely to shift 6 million consoles by June this year. The mid-year forecast eclipses Peter Moore's comments at the recent CES show in Las Vegas, in which the Xbox boss lowered initial sales estimates and offered a more conservative goal of 4 to5.5 million units by June.
Third party publishers, the majority of which have cited Xbox 360 supply issues as a contributory factor in lower than expected financial results, are likely to see a swift return to normality in McNealy's opinion. The analyst expects significant improvements in the quarter results.
The report included a survey of current Xbox 360 stock levels in 125 retailers which appears to somewhat contradict McNealy's optimistic forecast, revealing just 26 stores having units in stock - and all but five of those only having the Core system (minus hard drive and wireless accessories) available. Supply in the stores with units available was also extremely low, with most retailers holding a maximum of 3 units each.
UK supplies have definitely improved in recent weeks - a GameStation representative told GamesIndustry.biz that regular deliveries of both Core and Premium units are now beginning to materialise, and pre-launch orders are now all but fulfilled in the majority of stores UK-wide. That said, sales are going to have to spike pretty quickly if the Amtech estimates are to be achieved by June.
McNealy also offered some opinion on the availability of launch information for Sony's PS3, suggesting that this week's PlayStation Destination event could put an end to the intense rumour and speculation that has surrounded the industry for months.
"We expect Sony to give some directional information on the PS3 about launch plans and pricing, but we believe it is more likely that Sony will keep its commentary to a high level about the PS3 rather than specifics." the report stated. It is also suggested that more information could be provided at Sony's Blu-Ray address in California.
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