Retailers struggling to deal with the poor supply of current-gen Xbox consoles could have more problems when the Xbox 360 launches later this year, according to UK Xbox boss Neil Thompson.

Speaking to trade paper MCV, Thompson said shortages will be down to high levels of consumer demand rather than manufacturing problems. Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox 360 in the US, Japan and Europe simultaneously this November, something which Thompson concedes will not be an easy task.

"I think demand is going to be phenomenal so we see that as a really difficult thing," he told MCV.

"We feel as a company we've done the groundwork to get to a point where we can do the global release; we feel we're going to deliver and have a great Xmas.

"Will we execute well so retail will have good volume? Yes. But I don't think we're going to meet demand as people are going to come into this platform in a big way."

But some UK retailers remain skeptical of Microsoft's promises. Both Action Replay and Virtual Games told MCV they would not be running Xbox 360 pre-order campaigns to avoid any risk of disappointing customers.

This follows the continuing shortage of Xbox consoles, a problem which caused difficulties for many retailers last Christmas and has yet to be fully resolved.

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