Xbox corporate VP J Allard has confirmed that while Microsoft is doing all it can to meet demand for Xbox 360 at launch, there will be "some disappointment" for retailers and consumers.
Speaking to our sister site Eurogamer.net at the X05 event in Amsterdam, Allard said there was an ongoing discussion around the "allocation issue": "It's a dialogue with the retailers, and it's not just by territory, it's also by country, and so at an event like this we can actually get some feedback from the retailers... So we can adjust our allocations."
Allard blamed the potential for shortages on the constraints of trying to develop silicon techniques and include the most advanced technologies within the 360, adding that any such shortages will not be concentrated in specific regions.
"We decided we're going to take a little bit of heat on allocations, frankly, in all the territories rather than take a lot of heat in one or two territories," he said.
"So, we're not saying Europe comes four months later, we're saying Europe comes now, but with that combining it with the physics properties of the silicon means we're going to have some disappointment in terms of what we can provide to retail and ultimately to the consumers this year."
"But that's okay, because we want to get the market started. We want to get started on a worldwide basis, we want to do the right thing for gamers, for our publishers and for consumers," Allard added.
He went on to concede that the Xbox 360 launch won't go without a hitch - admitting that there are "logistics issues" to be dealt with.
"Do I think [the launch] will go flawlessly? I don't, but I think it's the right thing to do."
"It's never fun to work really really hard and then get heat from the media, from retailers, from the consumer because we didn't have enough of the things or because something wasn't quite as perfect as we'd like it to be in our execution, but the team signed up for it, because it's the right thing to do."
Allard declined to offer any details of the 360's launch day software line-up but did confirm that Microsoft is hoping for "All three of the first party titles to be there on day one."
"We're hoping, though. We're not going to sacrifice quality to do it," he said.
"If something's not ready we'll hold it back... I mean these games are not far from being done, and if they're three weeks after the launch or they're on launch day I don't think it makes a significant difference."