First it was the GameCube in 2003, then the PS2's revamped version last Christmas. Now it's Microsoft's turn to see its current console fly off the shelves following its last price cut to exactly £100.

Retailers with online arms have issued availability warnings or turned buyers away ,asking them to wait. The Crystal clear version was the last re-issue for the Xbox although it remained the same size at the more familiar original green. The rumour of another special edition follows earlier speculation about Xbox 2 arriving at the end of the year.

Just like the other consoles, this is a headache for retailers who have nothing to sell. It's only been two months since Sony underestimated Christmas shipments, which already put a dent in this year's profits, and it's likely the "iPod rush" syndrome will kick in, sending buyers to whoever has the consoles instead of returning when retailers receive new stock. Hopefully this farce won't repeat itself with the next generation of consoles - unless the manufacturers want it to happen.