Microsoft's first gaming console, the Xbox, will be launched in the UK on 14th March.
In response, games retailer Electronics Boutique is opening its stores late on the 13th March, so that customers can receive pre-ordered Xboxes at midnight.
Jo Taylor, PR manager for Electronics Boutique, explains: "We're opening around half of our stores on the night, as we've had thousands of pre-orders. Customers can pick up their Xboxes as early as is humanly possible."
Microsoft has to overcome the challenge of established competitors like Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube, due to launch on 8th May.
But Taylor considers there's a place for all three consoles. "The PlayStation 2's installed base is the biggest, but the others are both quality machines. The Xbox's strengths are its broadband support and superior processing power."
The European launch has been marred by reports of faulty consoles in Japan, but Taylor believes complaints have been exaggerated.
"The problems with the Japanese Xboxes have been blown out of proportion - less than one per cent has been recalled. The PlayStation 2 had a higher fault rate when it was launched in the US," she said.
Microsoft has pledged to replace any faulty Xboxes.
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