Microsoft has pushed the Australian and New Zealand launch date for the Xbox 360 back three weeks, citing supply issues as the cause of the delay. The console will now be officially unleashed at 12:01am on March 23 2006.
Today's announcement won't come as a surprise to many in the gaming community, as rumours regarding a possible delay were circulating around the Web as early as two weeks ago. It also follows significant component shortages in the US, which has forced many anxious fans to twiddle their thumbs whilst patiently waiting for their pre-ordered consoles to arrive.
According to today's press release, "The new launch dates have been set due to unprecedented global consumer demand stemming from challenges in ramping supply for a complex product like the Xbox 360. This is a short term manufacturing challenge and steps have been taken to increase supply to provide adequate supplies at launch."
Despite the delay, Microsoft remains on track to achieve its year end forecast, which is to ship between 4.5 and 5.5 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide by the end of June 2006.