Early feedback suggests that UK shops will run out of pre-order forms for the Sony PlayStation2 (PS2) by Saturday, just three days after ordering began.
Only 200,000 units of the console will be released in Britain before Christmas. The pre-order forms guarantee the customer, who must part with a £25 deposit, will receive a PS2 before Christmas. The first of the £299 consoles are expected to arrive around November 24.
ZDNet reported Thursday that British consumers desperate for a machine could be tempted to import machines and modify them to work here.
A Sony spokesman told ZDNet News that the company was pleased with the interest shown by the public, and was spending heavily to ensure more models are available early next year. "We're investing $1.2bn in new production facilities, and are planning to release more PS2s in January 2001", he said.
Sony blames exceptional demand in Japan for the small consignment of PS2s released in the UK. "There have been three million PlayStation2s sold in Japan so far. It's simply not possible to satisfy that demand and provide enough units to the rest of the world," the Sony spokesman explained.
Sony plans to sell ten million PS2s world wide by the end of March 2001. Three million are expected to be sold in Europe.
For complete gaming news, see GameSpot UK.