Microsoft's European Xbox boss Chris Lewis has described as "not far removed from reality” analyst estimates of 300,000 Xbox 360 consoles for the format’s initial European launch this Friday.
Speaking to German financial newspaper Euro am Sonntag, Lewis suggested it was possible that the next-gen console would sell out on its European launch. It is still unclear exactly how many units were available for the recent North American launch, where low stock levels have led to riotous scenes
at some stores, but European chains have long since stopped offering pre-orders for the console.
Many European stores have resorted to selling only expensive bundles with the consoles, with customers who pre-ordered an Xbox 360 several months ago receiving apologies that that their orders may not be honored on day one, as in the U.S., where retailers such as GameStop ended up taking more pre-orders in certain stores than there were available consoles on day one.
Microsoft aims to sell 3 million consoles within the format’s first three months on sale, with ten million sales by the end of 2006 – almost half the lifetime total for the original Xbox over the last four year. After the European launch on December 2nd the Japanese launch
is scheduled to take place on December 10th, with the Australian launch
of the console not due until March 2nd of next year.