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Microsoft signs assemblers to boost Xbox 360 output

Tight supply blamed for PS3 sales surge

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Microsoft is rumoured to have signed deals with two additional manufacturers to make Xbox 360s. The claim follows reports that sales of the console have dropped in the US.

Recently published figures from market watcher NPD show that Microsoft only sold 254,600 consoles through retail outlets in the US during February. Major rival Sony sold 280,000 PS3 consoles, while Nintendo shifted 351,800 Wiis.

To date, the Xbox 360 has outsold the PS3 in the US on a monthly basis. Microsoft blamed the reversal on a temporary supply shortage caused by high demand.

A report by DigiTimes today claimed that two extra assemblers, Pegatron and Unihan, have been brought under Microsoft’s wing, a move that could see a combined total of 500,000 Xbox 360s churned out each month by the producers' Chinese factories.

Singapore-based Flextronics is currently the only known manufacturer of Microsoft’s console. In the past, it was working alongside Taiwan's Wistron, but DigiTimes alleges that supplier pulled out of Xbox 360 production because the margins were too thin. If they are, that doesn't appear to be bothering Pegatron or Unihan.

Microsoft is currently enjoying a boom in Xbox 360 sales in Europe, thanks to its recent decision to cut the console’s price over here. According to analyst Chart-Track, sales of the console rose 36 per cent last week after the cut came into effect.

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