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No Kinect stock in UK on launch day - GAME stores

National outlets say it's "guaranteed"; HQ disagrees

There will be no Kinect stock available to buy in the UK come launch day on November 10 - according to the stores of national retailer GAME.

Numerous GAME outlets are today telling customers that the Xbox peripheral will definitely be sold out by November 10.

According to one GAME store manager contacted by CVG, the retailer delivered the news to staff at its behind-closed-doors national conference last week.

Confusingly, the retailer's head office seems to disagree - informing CVG that it is not aware of any such shortage. However, the HQ has admitted that the peripheral has the "potential to sell out on release day".

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CVG spoke to five GAME stores across the UK this afternoon - which all gave us the same, very clear message.

Every one reiterated that the only way we'll be able to pick up Kinect is if we've booked a pre-order - and that they're running out fast.

"Microsoft hasn't sent us enough us Kinect units to fulfil all pre-orders and there still won't be enough for launch day," one sales rep told us. "The message has gone round to all GAME stores."

Another told us it was "guaranteed" that there would be no stock on launch day. One even forecast that we'd have to wait until after Christmas to buy one - something "categorically denied" by GAME HQ.

A GAME spokesperson told CVG: "We are not aware of any potential stock shortages with Kinect and are working with Microsoft to meet expected demand.

"We do anticipate Kinect to be incredibly popular and it absolutely has the potential to sell out on release day. As a result, customers who want to get their hands on Kinect at launch really need to pre-order to guarantee that they get it."

Sales reps at entertainment giant HMV said they had received no such message from their HQ - and that they expected Kinect to be in stock in November.

The news points to heavy demand for Microsoft's new piece of kit - and a possible emulation of the UK Wii launch in 2006.

The Nintendo console was out of stock at retailers throughout the Christmas period - which only served to push demand higher as word-of-mouth spread.

GAME and Microsoft will no doubt be hoping that a similar consumer fear of losing out drives sales of Kinect.

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