SEATTLE – Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox game console may face a production delay but will still probably arrive in stores on time, according to a report released Tuesday by analysts at Thomas Weisel Partners.
The analysts, citing unnamed sources, said a flaw in Intel's design of the motherboard, or main computer component of the Xbox, may set production of the much-hyped new game player back by three to four weeks.
Microsoft spokesman James Bernard denied the report, saying the company was still on track to release Xbox Nov. 8 as planned, and that Intel has delivered everything on time so far.
"There's absolutely no problem with the design of Intel's motherboard," Bernard said.
He would not comment on whether there were other manufacturing problems with Xbox.
Thomas Weisel analysts Eric Ross and David Readerman also doubted the production delay would prevent Microsoft from releasing the product Nov. 8.
"We note that our sources in the supply chain believe there is no reason to panic," the analysts wrote in the report.
An Intel spokesman, Bill Calder, said his company could not comment on delays on someone else's product.
Microsoft is counting on a holiday-season push as it prepares to release its first game console ever. The device, priced at $299, will go head-to-head against more established brands such as Sony PlayStation2 and Nintendo's GameCube.
The Redmond-based software giant is heavily promoting the game's built-in hard disk, which it says enables better graphics and more sophisticated games.
Microsoft also is counting on the popularity of Xbox games including "Halo," a sci-fi combat game; "Shrek," based on the hit animated movie; and the third installment of "Odd World," a strategy/combat game featuring a cast of freakishly cute characters in a strange land.
Shares in Microsoft were down 83 cents, at $65, in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.