Microsoft confirmed the online reports over this weekend, saying a shipping error by “a retail partner” resulted in a pleasant surprise for some fans who had pre-ordered the console. Most likely that partner was Target.
“Due to a retail partner’s system issue, a very small number of Xbox One consoles were shipped to consumers before the 11/22 street date,” said Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb. “We’re pleased to see the initial response to Xbox One has been so positive, but given we are still putting the finishing touches on our games, UI and online services, as well as confidential partner and media agreements, these consoles units will be restricted from connecting to Xbox Live until closer to our launch date.”
While embarrassing, Microsoft seems to be handling the event with as much humor as possible. While there were reports over the weekend that one user had been banned, it appears the online restrictions are temporary.
One user, in fact, has turned his good fortune into a marketing tool for Microsoft. Youtube user MoonlightSwami not only got the system from Target, but managed to download the day one system update and posted a series of clips showing the unboxing and began putting the system through its paces. The video of the system walkthrough, however, was pulled off of YouTube.
Another early Xbox One owner attempted to profit from the shipping error, putting his system up for sale immediately on eBay with an asking price of $9,995. Those efforts, though, were later dashed when the auction was pulled. (A Kotaku reader who claimed to be a relative of the seller said the money was earmarked for charity, but the seller pulled the plug after realizing the system would be largely useless without the day one patch.)
Barring any other retail screw-ups, the rest of us will have to wait until Nov. 22 to get our hands on the Xbox One when the system goes on sale at midnight for $499.