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Microsoft fights to prevent Xbox 360 shortages

Xbox UK boss Neil Thompson has admitted that there could be Xbox 360 shortages this Christmas - but promises that Microsoft is doing all it can to get the consoles into shops as soon as possible.

Xbox UK boss Neil Thompson has admitted that there could be Xbox 360 shortages this Christmas - but promises that Microsoft is doing all it can to get the consoles into shops as soon as possible.

"Xbox 360 is the hottest gift this Christmas and will be hard to find - but weâre working hard to ensure thereâs a regular replenishment of stock to retail," Thompson said.

Microsoft offered no comment on rumours that the US will be getting precisely 1,098,200 units on launch day, which emerged after a forum poster on Team Xbox claimed he had received a copy of a booklet sent out to shareholders.

The poster claimed the booklet also revealed that Microsoft hopes to sell four million Xbox 360s in the five months following launch, and that 29 games for the console will be in the shops by the end of the year.

Rumours have also emerged that the UK will be getting just 50,000 Xbox 360 units in time for the console's launch on December 2.

That's according to the Official Xbox Magazine website, which claims it got the information from "a representative from one of the UK's largest videogames retailers."

Pre-ordering offers no guarantee of a console in time for Christmas, either. "We started taking pre-orders for Xbox 360 back at the start of summer, and by the end of June one store already had 300,â the source is quoted as saying.

"Customers can still put their names down for an Xbox 360, but we canât guarantee that theyâll get their system before Christmas.â

Microsoft declined to comment on the 50k rumour. With regard to pre-orders, Thompson stated: "Microsoft does not have an official Xbox 360 presale program and we are unable to verify the status of these retailer programs."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.