Dixons, Woolworths and Game desperately short of must-have consoles as key trading period kicks off
Computer games retailers face a crisis this Christmas because of a shortage of PlayStation 2s, after production and supply problems at manufacturer Sony.

Dixons, Woolworths and market leader Game are losing millions in sales and have hardly any PlayStation 2s between them. Woolworths and Game have stopped taking pre-orders, because they cannot guarantee customers will get the product by Christmas. Retailers have been promised fresh stock at the start of December, but fear they will not get enough to meet demand.

A Woolworths spokeswoman said: 'You can't get one for love nor money. The demand is so great that it [Sony's planned delivery] might not be enough.' Game, which has 396 UK stores, is completely out of stock. A spokesman said the launch of the slimline PS2 in November - half the size of the old model - has fuelled demand. 'It's a must-have product for Christmas, in terms of consoles, and demand has gone through the roof.' he said. A Dixons spokesman said: 'We are working closely with Sony and doing all that we can to get as much stock in our stores for Christmas. The stock position is not great at the moment.'

The PS2 sells for approximately£100. In the week to November 20, only 6,000 were sold in the UK because of the problems, compared with 87,000 for the equivalent period last year, according to ChartTrack. The consoles have been selling on eBay for up to£205.

Sony admitted in a statement: 'We are experiencing temporary shortages of the slimline PS2 console. These have been caused by production and shipping delays, plus the overwhelming demand that we have experienced for this new machine.'

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