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Demand for Xbox 360 outstripping supply - analysts

As Xbox 360 units continue to fly out of stores as soon as they arrive, US analysts have predicted that stock shortages could mean Microsoft fails to meet its current quarter sales targets.

As Xbox 360 units continue to fly out of stores as soon as they arrive, US analysts have predicted that stock shortages could mean Microsoft fails to meet its current quarter sales targets.

In a new report, Goldman Sachs analyst Richard Sherlund wrote that although it was hard to establish exactly how many Xbox 360s have been shipped globally so far, he believes the figure may stand at as little as 1.3 million units - which could make it tough for Microsoft to reach its goal of 3 million sales by the end of this quarter.

"It's clear that something disrupted the supply of Xbox 360 shipments in the quarter, and there does not appear to be any end of year catch-up in shipments," Sherlund wrote.

"It appears to us that Microsoft may be producing at 600,000 to 800,000 units per month, likely adequate to meet our estimate of 2 million units for the March quarter."

Sherlund's comments were echoed by Bank of America analyst Gary Cooper, who predicted that a maximum of just 200,000 Xbox 360 consoles will be shipped by the end of the month.

"We believe MSFT has told most retailers to expect minimal replenishments of Xbox 360s in the month of January," Cooper wrote.

"This is materially below most retailers and our own expectations... We question whether MSFT can even reach the low end of its 2.5-3 million Xbox 360 unit guidance by mid/late February given its continuous supply problems."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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