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GameStop: Kinect 'in short supply' for the holidays

GameStop President Tony Bartel says in its earnings call that Microsoft's motion-gaming peripheral Kinect will be elusive for consumers in the coming weeks.

Microsoft's Kinect will be in short supply this holiday season.
Microsoft's Kinect will be in short supply this holiday season. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

GameStop isn't pulling any punches with its expectations of product supply this holiday season.

Speaking to investors during an earnings call yesterday, GameStop president Tony Bartel said that customers shouldn't wait to get their hands on Kinect, Microsoft's motion-gaming peripheral that allows users to control on-screen action with only body movement.

"[Kinect] will be a hot item through the holiday season and the key opportunity will be just to continue to keep them in stock," Bartel said during the call, according to a transcript provided by SeekingAlpha. "So, whenever consumers do see Kinect and they want Kinect for the holiday season, they should pick it up because it will be in short supply in the holiday."

Bartel went on to say that Sony's PlayStation Move will also be "in short supply" during the holiday season.

He wouldn't provide exact sales figures for either the Kinect or the Move, but he did say that GameStop was seeing that Kinect Sports and Dance Central were the most coveted titles among Kinect buyers.

In Bartel's estimation, according to the SeekingAlpha transcript, demand could rise high enough that this holiday season might match that of the Wii's initial launch when customers followed UPS and FedEx trucks to stores to ensure they could get their hands on Nintendo's platform.

"[With] the Wii phenomenon, we had customers following UPS trucks to our store," Bartel said, according to SeekingAlpha's transcript. "I think you are going to have the exact same thing with new [Move] controllers and with the Kinect Bundle that goes out. I think you are going to have consumers following the UPS truck to our stores to pick up that product as soon as they can find it."

Finally, Bartel said that GameStop's in-stock guarantee on its products will not apply to the Kinect this holiday season.

Bartel's comments on the Kinect seem to follow what Microsoft has been saying. Microsoft revealed earlier this week that it sold 1 million Kinect units in the device's first 10 days of availability. It took Sony's PlayStation Move 30 days to reach that figure. Moreover, Microsoft said earlier this week that it's currently on pace to sell 5 million Kinect units by the end of the year.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to request for comment on how it plans to maintain supply to meet demand this holiday season.