GameStop expects to fulfill 360 preorders in February

Company e-mail says approximately 70 percent of orders taken for Xbox 360s have now been fulfilled.

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Gamers who thought they were getting the jump on the Xbox 360 shortage by preordering the system from retailers may have unknowingly stung themselves. Some of those who put down money up front for the next-gen console are still without their systems, as Microsoft continues to struggle to keep enough 360s in the channel to satisfy customers.

According to a well-placed source, GameStop headquarters recently sent out an internal e-mail to all its stores stating that the retailer has fulfilled an estimated 70 percent of all in-store preorders for the Xbox 360. The memo went on to say that the chain has filled all of its "first shipment" preorders, and that all remaining orders should be completed in February.

The figure does not include orders taken through GameStop's online store or those placed via EB Games, which GameStop acquired last year.

The source also told GameSpot that GameStop locations have seen a number of non-preordered $299 Xbox 360 Core Systems appear on shelves for immediate purchase. Apparently, many gamers who preordered systems are holding out for the $399 Xbox 360 Premium Systems, which come with a wireless controller and hard drive.

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