UK Xbox boss Neil Thompson admits surprise that shortages affecting hardware sales since pre-Christmas are continuing, but insists that there are no hidden agendas.
“It has been tough for us to judge the demand for Xbox hardware. It has gained huge momentum over the past few months and it’s a challenge that we’re facing worldwide,” he told MCV.
“But I can categorically say that the reason for the shortages has nothing to do with clearing channels in preparation for Xbox 2.”
Some retailers are skeptical as well as irritated. “I had no Xbox stock in February and just 12 during the whole of January,” said Will Copeland of large indie retail store One Step Beyond in Norwich.
"They say they are catching up with allocations, but that simply isn't true from our experience.
“We need Microsoft to be honest. Either Microsoft has stopped production of Xbox 1 or it is favouring specific territories or retail partners.
"I know for a fact that GAME and Gamestation have got stock. The current situation simply isn't good enough."
For its part, Xbox’s exclusive distributor Gem can only be sympathetic to unhappy retailers whilst it waits itself for improved supply.
"We are allocating stock as fairly as possible across our entire independent retail customer base,” said sales director Chris Peacock.
“Regrettably, we are unable to satisfy the entire requirements of our customers but look forward to the supply situation improving."