Even the Ballmer Children Are Xboxless

Posted on December 8, 2005

As most gamers know there is an Xbox 360 shortage that has many gamers upset with Microsoft for the limited supply. A Gamasutra article has comments from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer where he mentions problems with chip yields.

Ballmer commented to the Citizen: "In these new consumer electronics devices based on new chips, there's always the question of what yield will you get out of the manufacturing process of the new chip. We're getting a little less, but not much less than the yields we expected, and we know that the yields we expected will probably outrun supply."

However, Ballmer noted: "We decided to go ahead and launch rather than wait until post-Christmas and get a few million units out into the hands of users. We're doing our best."

So Microsoft proceeded knowing they could come up short. Steven Ballmer also noted that his own children still do not have an Xbox.
In addition, in remarks at a technology executive conference reported by Reuters, Ballmer quipped, in an apparent attempt to defuse some of the frustration over limited stocks of Microsoft's next-gen console: "The Ballmer children do not have their Xbox 360 yet. I'm in the same boat as many of you. Thanks to the wonders of [financial regulation act] Sarbanes-Oxley, management does not get a free Xbox 360."

As Wired points out it appears that Balmer is blaming the fall-out from the Enron fiasco for his children not getting an Xbox. It is also highly unlikely that any parent will see their kids as being "in the same boat" as the Microsoft CEO's kids. But it is still early and unclear whether Microsoft's decision to rush the Xbox out before the holidays despite not having enough systems will hurt them in the game industry in the long run.

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