The long-awaited UK launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3) games console has been marred by the cancellation of more than £10m worth of orders from retailers and consumers.
Retail industry sources claim the electronics giant has had as many as 20,000 pre-orders of the £425 console cancelled in the run-up to its delayed launch last Friday.
There have been none of the stock shortages typical of earlier console launches and the majority of the cancelled pre-orders are believed to have come from speculators hoping to sell the units on eBay for a profit.
Virgin Megastores claims to have ordered significantly more PS3 consoles than rival Nintendo Wiis or Xbox 360s, both of which sold out within 48 hours of hitting the shops before Christmas. However, it has sold only two-thirds of the several thousand PS3s available in its UK stores.
In an attempt to generate buzz around the launch, Sony offered a free Bravia TV worth £2000 to the first 125 gamers to purchase a console.
"The launch of the Play-Station 3 has been a victim of its own success,' said Stephen Lynne, senior promotions and partnerships manager at Virgin Megastores. 'There are so many available that consumers know they can get one when-ever they want."