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Retail struggling to meet day one demand for GTA IV

Online specialists warn of shortages of highly-anticipated Rockstar title on launch day due to unprecedented demand

Online retailers GAME, Gamestation and Play.com are all indicating that they will be struggling to meet consumer demand for Grand Theft Auto IV when the game is released on April 29.

Although copies of the limited edition of the highly-anticipated Rockstar title are still being offered for delivery on launch day, the standard edition for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 may be in short supply for those that haven't already got their pre-orders in.

"We cannot guarantee delivery on the day of release for orders placed on or after the 7th of April," states GAME on its website, while rival Play.com offers, "we are currently sold out of this item. All orders will be dispatched on a first come, first served basis."

Gamestation too, indicates that "due to unprecedented demand for the standard editions of Grand Theft Auto IV, we are no longer taking pre-orders for this version."

The game is expected to be one of the biggest games released this year, with some analysts suggesting worldwide sales could top six million units in its first week of sale.

The retail community has been offering plenty of incentive to pre-order the title, with GAME giving away 500 free Xbox Live points to users, while HMV doubled that offer to 1,000 points as well as a book of vouchers worth GBP 130.

April and May could be massive sales months for the industry this year - as well as GTA IV, April will also see the release of Wii Fit from Nintendo, a game that is already selling out in stores, and Rock Band from EA, which was dated and priced for release today.

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