Despite the fact that some stores appear to have stock, Microsoft's Kinect units are selling at a premium in online eBay auctions, suggesting strong demand and, according to one analyst, indicating positive holiday signs for the device.
"Our survey of completed transactions on eBay indicates that Microsoft Kinect, the motion sensing controller for the Xbox 360, is selling for an average price of roughly $190, or nearly a 30 percent premium over the retail price of $150," says Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian.
As of press time, Gamasutra also examined U.S. eBay listings, discovering final Kinect prices of $160 on the low end to $230 on eBay.
"While several retailers are indicating out-of-stock positions on their websites, the majority of bricks and mortar stores we called had units available for sale," Sebastian says.
Preorders for Microsoft's Xbox 360 motion-sensing device sold out from many online retailers even before Kinect's November 4 North American launch (November 10 in Europe).
Retailers like Amazon and Play had to limit the amount of preorders that could be placed per customer, or ask users to sign up for notification when preorders would be available again.
That users will still pay premiums to buy a Kinect from eBay rather than hunt one down in stores is a good sign not just for Microsoft, but for the industry, says Sebastian.
"Nonetheless, we believe that early signs of demand for Kinect bode well for the device as a holiday gift item, and if the momentum continues, could provide the industry with a near-term shot in the arm," he says.