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The UK's high street retailers will have sold all their allocations of Sony PlayStation 2s by the end of the weekend.

Pre-ordering started yesterday. The Dixons Group, which also owns Currys and PC World, claimed it took 10,000 phone enquiries in the first two hours of business on its direct order phone line.

The games console will be available on 24 November - but there are only 200,000 of them to go round. Retailers in smaller towns, even branches of the larger chains, have only been given around 20 PS2s to sell.

Sony has introduced an ordering system to make sure the game player is sold on a first come first served basis. Exactly 200,000 order forms have been printed. Customers either collect the forms from shops or ring an order phone line, pay a £25 deposit, then wait for Sony to process the order. If you try buying more than one you're likely to have your order rejected. HMV's flagship store on Oxford Street was running out of forms this morning.

As we reported earlier in the week that the Sega Dreamcast is being bundled with an Encore 450 DVD player to compete with the PS2. The PlayStation is supposed be poor as a DVD player so the scheme might have potential as a spoiler, except that PS2s will sell out no matter what Sega does. The Dreamcast/DVD player bundle will retail at £299.99. The DVD player has a street price of £199 and the Dreamcast is now selling at £149.99.

DVD Times says the Encore 450 is "a cheap and cheerful multi-region DVD player that unfortunately, suffers from lip-sync issues". You can read the full review here. ®

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