Microsoft Xbox 360 strategy

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This morning I went to 3 local Best Buy stores. I knew my chance of getting a Xbox 360 would be as same as winning a lottery. But I went anyway because I was already awake at 7:15 AM. There was a little flurry but I made it to the Best Buy Bridgeton location at 7:58 AM. There was already a line there. And I noticed the chairs (people camped outside the store overnight) were already empty — later on I saw those people waited in the check out lanes with their new Xbox inside the store. Interestingly enough, the Best Buy greeting guys in the front door handed out 15% off coupons for those missed the Xbox. Smart sales pitch.

I spent a minute or two before heading off to the Chestfield Best Buy store. At Bridgeton I saw a girl (or lady) asked the customer rep if there is any more shipments before X’mas. Obviously she needed this as a gift.

When I got to Chestfield, people were picking up their Xbox, tents (I saw at least two tents) and taking off. I gave up my unrealitic hope and went to Mcdonald for breakfast. After that I went to Best Buy at Ellisville and tried out the Xbox demo my first time.

I talked the Xbox shortages problem with my friends who are game lovers (I am not). Originally I thought it was Microsoft’s fluke. But they made me realized it’s a Microsoft’s strategy. I agree. By releasing the Xbox in limited quantity, with all the free media coverage (include my blog), they gained more excitment about the product. And people like me who are not Xbox gamers are also aware of this and may be converted to gamers through all this frenzy, e.e., I tried their demo this morning.

This is a really smart business strategy. But could it back fire especially for those where are real gamers? Unlikely. The thing is there are not too many alternatives. The new PS3 is one year away, and the Xbox 360 has great graphics in my view.

Bill made his day again in this X’mas. Now if he could also make the “blue screen” go away (recently my Windows XP laptop died twice with blue screen, very annoying).

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