A host of leading UK retailers have stopped accepting pre-orders for the PlayStation 4, prompting fears of a supply shortage when the console releases sometime in Q4.
Tesco, Asda, Amazon, and Toys R Us are thought to have been instructed by Sony to halt pre-ordering, according to The Sun, with speculation hinting that Microsoft may follow suit in the coming days.
According to Amazon's PlayStation 4 listing: "Due to high demand, orders placed for this PlayStation 4 console from August 6 may be received after release date. We will ship orders as soon as we receive sufficient inventory."
If the highly-coveted new consoles are affected by a supply shortage, the situation could potentially have major ramifications for the financial performance of both manufacturers, as they would miss out on a huge number of pre-Christmas sales.
At the same time, calling time on online pre-orders could be an effective strategy to help drive interest in the consoles, leading to a rush of purchases if the systems get re-listed or helping to stimulate physical sales later in the year.
Neither Sony or Microsoft has confirmed an official release for its device, but the next-gen systems are widely expected to arrive in Q4. The Toys R Us website had previously pegged speculative release dates for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as 29 November and 13 December, respectively.
Sony declined to comment on potential production issues affecting the PS4: "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe does not comment on production and we have no further information to share at this time on our release strategy for PlayStation 4, which is scheduled for launch this holiday season."