Microsoft delays Xbox 360 release

Supply shortages have forced Microsoft to delay the launch of the Xbox 360 in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Microsoft has pushed back the release of its Xbox 360 game console in some Asian markets, as well as Australia and New Zealand, due to "supply constraints," a company executive said Wednesday.

Microsoft had originally planned to release the Xbox 360 in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand on March 2, but that has now been delayed by two to three weeks, said Julie Leong, a Microsoft spokeswoman in Hong Kong.

"There's just too much demand; we just couldn't make the March 2 date," Leong said.

The game console is now slated to go on sale in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore on March 16. It will be available one week later, on March 23, in Australia and New Zealand, Leong said.

Supply of the Xbox 360 is particularly tight in the U.S. and the console is also hard to find in European stores, Leong said. In an effort to increase supplies of the Xbox 360, Microsoft has signed a third manufacturing partner, Celestica, to produce the console. Celestica, based in Toronto, is expected to begin producing consoles this month, she said.

Flextronics, in Singapore, and Wistron, in Taipei, are currently manufacturing the Xbox 360 under contract.

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