Readers respond: Microsoft delays the Xbox launch

GameSpot's readers respond to the November 15 Xbox launch.

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Last week, we ran a news story explaining that the launch of the Xbox would be on November 15--meaning a delay of an entire week. While a week may not seem like a long time to most, it can seem like an eternity for consumers waiting eagerly for a new video game console to be released. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the story generated more Talkback comments than one story has had in some time. Some of our readers were willing to wait the extra week with no questions asked, but others felt like it was a sign that other problems may exist.

The majority of reader comments attached to the story had nothing to do with the actual topic of the story. But of those posts that did relate to the topic, the overwhelming majority was negative toward the delay and felt that Microsoft was simply showing that it's a newcomer to the console business. Telly O'Neill believes that Microsoft is going through some growing pains. He wrote, "Microsoft is not ready for war. They are trying to be like Nintendo and are actually planning things out. Nintendo has been in the game longer, so they know the deal. Take notes, Microsoft." Some of our readers took the news personally after doing the math. Mitch Lee thinks something fishy is behind the delay. He stated, "This can't be a delay due to a lack of units. It's got to be some sort of conspiracy to screw us over. Either that or they're lying about their numbers or their other 'facts.' Maybe they're having problems with the design or manufacturing process, but then how can they have already started manufacturing at a rate of 100,000 a week?" Trevor Brisson takes a more positive approach: "Perhaps the games aren't quite ready." And Pope Anonymous brought up several good points in his comments: "So, they've not only pushed it back a week, but they also still don't know how many units they'll have on November 15? Any bets on how long it will be before a second delay is announced, pushing the launch back to the beginning of December? Microsoft has eight weeks. If they get started making units Monday, they might be able to squeeze 600,000 out of Mexico in time. Of course, that means they have to settle on the hardware. Nintendo handed Microsoft a window of opportunity to get some sales in, and Microsoft is blowing it. When it comes to consoles, Microsoft is as green as the Xbox logo."

Many of our readers continue to stand behind Microsoft despite the delay. Considering it's only a week, this makes perfect sense. Brendan Foy has managed to look on the bright side of things and find all the positive aspects of the delay. He wrote, "It's only a week delay. It still comes out before the GameCube, and developers get a little more time to work on games. I would rather have the system delayed for hardware reasons than software reasons anyway. This increases my chances of getting an Xbox on launch day now." Peter Skerritt Jr. isn't surprised in the least by the delay. "Microsoft played a dangerous game of chicken with Nintendo on the issue of units available at launch, and Nintendo caved first. It was widely expected that Microsoft would fall short on their launch numbers, too. While the delay is only a week, it doesn't set a good precedent for the new kid on the block. Many gamers would like to compare the chances of success for Xbox to the same success that the PS encountered. There's now a big difference very early on-- Sony came through on delivering units on time, as promised. As for Microsoft, the backlash is already beginning. This is a big break for Nintendo as well. Three days difference isn't nearly as much as 10 days. Now the initiative advantage is moot, and both systems will be on a more level playing field, especially in terms of undecided gamers. Metal Gear Solid 2 also releases that same week for PS2. This won't hurt Microsoft terribly, but this delay certainly isn't the way that Xbox officials wanted to start," he explained. Nonya Business looks at the entire situation from a gamer's perspective: "Look at it this way, you have another week to save up more cash for games."

While the majority of respondents fell into the two prior categories, some felt that the terrorist attacks on the United States, which took place on September 11, were to blame. G Trav believes that companies like Microsoft are reacting in an improper manner to the tragedy. "All of these big companies are missing the point of the terrorist attacks. They wanted to throw us out of our everyday routines and destroy our unity. Now with that being said, by delaying games and movies having to do with terrorists and/or the former World Trade Center, aren't we giving these people exactly what they wanted? Terrorism is a common theme in books, movies, and games. By canceling them, we give the terrorists what they wanted: to throw the people out of their routines. If we want to remember those who were lost, we must take a lesson stated at the end of the first Metal Gear Solid game: We must go on with our lives and keep living because they would want us to," he stated. Ivan Overall also believes that the attacks have something to do with the delay. "I think the incident September 11 caused a delay in the launch of the Xbox. You figure they have components of the Xbox made in different places that are shipped to the plant in Mexico to be assembled as a whole unit. With the grounding of the airplanes, that kind of threw everything for a loop, not to mention that some mail carriers have said that they will not use any commercial airlines anymore. My paycheck for that week was about four days late. I really think this is why they pushed it back, not to mention some companies halted everything for that week to look at what was going on and figure out how this incident would effect them as a company and to let their employees go home to their families."

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