Dec. 7, 2010 at 3:25 PM ET
If you're hoping to buy one of the hottest gaming gadgets for this holiday season, you might find yourself out of luck.
Many video game and electronics stores are reporting that they're sold out of Kinect — Microsoft's new motion control sensor that reads the movements of your entire body. Meanwhile, you can't find Kinect on Amazon for less than $210. The device is supposed to retail for $150.
Motion controlled gaming devices are certainly a popular item this holiday, with all three big gaming companies now offering their own variation on the physical gaming controls.
Microsoft reported selling 2.5 million of their Kinect devices in the first 25 days it was on the market and reports of its scarceness have been slowly turning up ever since.
When I asked about the product's availability today, Microsoft reps confirmed that shoppers may have a hard time finding them though they did no release any specific details.
“Yes, we’re experiencing amazing demand for Kinect both here in the U.S. and around the world," the company said in a released statement. "Retailers are telling us they can’t keep up with the supply and we’re doing our best to expedite Kinect sensors so we can meet the consumer demand.”
Meanwhile, Sony has said it was having trouble keeping up with the demand for its new Move motion controls.
Video game analyst Michael Pachter recently told IncGamers that he thought both companies were touting the short supply line to "spur demand" for their product.
When we asked the Wedbush Morgan analyst if he believed the shortage issues were a marketing ploy to increase demand for Move and Kinect, Pachter told us: “Yes, I think both companies would very much like for consumers to believe that their devices are highly sought after and difficult to obtain. That usually works to spur demand."
But Industry Gamers reports that Microsoft officials deny engineering any such shortage.
"Anyone who actually works in the business of producing new technology, especially hardware technology, will know that these things are never managed,” Neil Thompson, Microsoft’s general manager for Xbox U.K. and Ireland, said. “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.”
That certainly makes sense to us. It's incredibly expensive for a company to NOT SELL a product. That said...it also doesn't hurt to let people know your product is so highly sought after that it's hard to find.
But what matters most to gamers and shoppers right now is this: Can you get your hands on these devices?
Calls made to Seattle, Chicago and New York-based Game Stop and Best Buy stores today found they were all sold out of Kinect.
The clerk at the Seattle-based Best Buy store said they wouldn't have Kinect devices in for another two weeks. Meanwhile, the Seattle Game Stop clerk I spoke to wasn't sure when they'd be getting Kinect.
"They're, like, the hot commodity right now," he said.
He did, however, have Sony's Move motion controllers in ... though the New York Game Stop I called did not have any available.
There is one place you can find Kinect at the moment — at the brand new Microsoft store in Bellevue (priced at the proper $150). I called the store today and they said they had "plenty." We'll see how long that lasts.