While the UK gears up for the Xbox 360 launch next week, some gamers in America are finding that its not all as is hoped with their new pride and joy.

Microsoft has said some Xbox 360 owners are reporting problems with the new video game console that debuted in North America earlier this week.

"We have received a few isolated reports of consoles not working as expected", Microsoft spokeswoman Molly O'Donnell told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Xbox 360 dedicated sites are reporting that some systems had crashed during regular play as well as during online game play using the Xbox Live service.

Problems included screens going black and the appearance of a variety of error messages. Flicker has some more images at

flicker.com

The machine is the first of a new generation of consoles offering high-definition graphics and has been snatched up by game enthusiasts since its launch on Tuesday.

O'Donnell, who declined to say how many reports the company had received, said calls represent a "very, very small fraction" of units sold. The number of calls was not unexpected, she said.

We have yet to experience any of the problems other console users have experienced with our unit in the office.