The Xbox 360 and Over Capacity

i know it’s kinda of silly to think about it now, with the dearth of consoles on shelves, but, has anyone other than myself actually thought about how a ‘worldwide’ launch will affect long term capacity?
in a comment i wrote back in mid-january about console launch numbers, i mentioned it.

given all of this hooplah we’re seeing about the number of shipping consoles being huge by summertime, is that going to be an issue?

if you think about it, microsoft needed to get a bunch of big plants up fast and early.  now that they’re up, now that production is humming, is it too much?  will we see tons of inventory on shelves?  i suppose there could be worse problems to have.  like, i dunno, delays and no product on shelves.

it’s sort of like playing a realtime strategy game, right?  so, you build up huge amounts of resources early in the game, but, by mid-game, you don’t need them.  looking back, it would have been more helpful to invest in some heavier-duty units earlier on rather than all these damn zergs.

actually.  looking back at that, i have no idea if that’s an accurate analogy or not.  anyone got a better one?

maybe microsoft is just pulling a zerg invasion sort of launch.  i think i need to percolate on it a bit more.


6 comments so far

  1. Oncnawan on

    I see your point. There shouldn’t be a problem, really. Microsoft can just shut down one plant when it sees demand start to slack. The key is to time it right. Sam Walton had a system wherein he would graph the sales of all units sold at the end of every day, taking data from Wal-Marts all over creation. When the slope of the curve was equal to 1 (45 degree angle), he would stop ordering units. The units remaining in the pipeline would nearly perfectly meet demand, both tapering off together. That is one of the ways he could price his product so low. Sam, Microsoft needs your help.

    The one hiccup in this approach is the holiday season. Either Microsoft or retailers will need to hoard some 360’s for the holiday season when demand will spike.

    Microsoft also needs to do a new 360 campaign as units start to hit store shelves, as a reminder to people who were unable to get one at launch.

  2. m3mnoch on

    agreed. afterall, it’s not really like microsoft is working with fixed resources, right? they basically have a bottomless well to pull from.

    so, maybe early capacity isn’t a bad thing. and maybe, since we’re talking about essentially limitless resources, the analogy should be more like a protoss rush, instead. useful on an individual level as well as en masse.

    god. are they really taking the ‘zerg rush’ principle and applying it to protoss? damn. i really thought i found something they did that was dumb that i could hound on.

    heh. sorry for all the starcraft comparisons. my friends and i have been reminiscing about it lately.


  3. Oncnawan on

    I miss Starcraft. I have consolidated all of my gaming into my 360 (and before it my Xbox), so no Starcraft goodness for me.

  4. m3mnoch on

    same here. i tired a long time ago of the video card retread that is pc gaming. i don’t want to mess with it, i just want it to work.

    last generation of consoles, they finally started to come into parity with pc gaming.

    this generation? holy crap. if you can play a game (doom 3 or half-life 2) on an xbox that has 1/4 the required hardware of a pc (because of solid, targeted specs), can you imagine what the difference this generation is going to be?

    that means, potentially, the xbox 360 and playstation 3 could play games that can only run on pcs 4 times as powerful as the ones coming out late this year.


    it just blows me away that pc gamers (and, i used to be one) don’t realize this yet.


  5. Voorshwa on

    I think that the biggest beef that PC gamers have with consoles are the lack of customization. In the PC community one of the most appealing aspect of games are the use of mods. I mean you wouldn’t have even had Counter Strike without the Half Life modding community.

    This has grown to such an extent that many developers of PC games (mostly FPS) are coding with Mods in mind. Huge communities have developed around modding all sorts of games and this isn’t really possible with a console.

    Also, when you have a computer you have easy upgradability (IMO), diverse uses (gaming, finance, development, etc), just plain old “my box is better than your box” epeens. This is something that you will not see in consoles for a very long time, if ever.

    While the capabilities of th consoles as far as technological power is impressive, I will take PC gaming over it any day of the week.


  6. Oncnawan on


    It is precisely the lack of customization that I enjoy about the consoles. Customization requires time and knowledge and appropriate drivers. I stopped PC gaming when my budget and available time took a hit.

    What I miss about PC gaming is the RTS genre.

    What I don’t miss is the cheating, which is a natural byproduct of “customization”.

    I also don’t miss the keyboard/mouse combo. It took me a bit to get used to a controller with two thumbsticks, but once I did, I have never looked back. PC gamers claim that the K/M combo is superior. Superior in what way? More accurate? Yes. More realistic? No.

    At least insofar as FPSs are concerned, the controller is a much better approximation of what is actually going on. If you have fired a gun, you know that you don’t have pixle perfect accuracy. I like the controller for that reason.

    Also, the range of skill progression that comes with practice is smaller on the controller. I mean by this that the controller hits a point of limited return of performance much earlier than the K/M for a give amount of practice. This means that a semi-casual gamer who is intelligent and knows how to use terrain to his advantage has a chance against the 35-hours a week gamer who has a perfect headshot, but no grasp of tactics. With a K/M, this is not nearly as true. The problem with this is that developers seem to think that console games then must be shallower in gameplay than their PC brethren. That is a real shame.

    The other benefit to a controller is comfort. Sitting back into the couch with the controller held loosely in my hands gives more pleasure to me than hunching over a desktop with my hand splayed across hotkeys. This leads to greater immersion and a better gaming experience.

    However, PC gaming as a platform has a flexibility inherent in its open structure. There are no Microsoft Certifications to pass, no Nintendo seal of approval. As such, you will see more creative gaming on the PC, which is a boon to the entire industry. That is why I am grateful that PC gaming is still going strong; may it prosper and live forever.

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