Microsoft's Halo 2 has finally launched in North America at midnight store openings after months of waiting by eager fans, but some UK gamers could find they are left without when it launches here in the UK on Thursday.


GamesPaper has learnt that online retailer is facing unexpected supply shortages of the Halo 2 Collectors Edition, and that they may not be able to meet their original availability estimate, with a number of gamers on forums and newsgroups claiming to have received an email stating that the release date has been delayed and that stock may not even arrive for November 11th.

Last month Amazon stopped taking any further pre-orders for the collectors edition after they completely sold out of their initial allocation, with the company promising that all orders placed before this point would be fulfilled on release. However some customers have since found their estimated dispatch date pushed back to December, and even January 2005 - despite ordering back in July when the product was first listed for sale.


It's not clear if the supply problems are being caused by the sheer number of sales which are being made by gamers wanting to get hold of the Xbox title, or if stricter than normal street date rules are causing trouble for retailers who usually get stock several days before the official release date to enable them to process orders in a timely fashion.

High Street retailers also look to be affected by the supply problems with one major retailer telling us that they will only be receiving the standard version for sale on Thursday and that collectors editions are to follow later, despite pre-orders being taken long in advance - a fact which seems to be supported by gamers who have been told similar when checking with their local shop.

Meanwhile Jersey based are said to have stock of the title and have been packing items for dispatch today, leading to a flurry of last minute orders from customers eager to get the game on time.

Update: Amazon have now changed the status of their product page to show Halo 2 Limited Edition In Metal Box as being in stock and dispatched within 24 hours - meaning they appear to have now received stock and are potentially sending out orders for arrival before the actual release date of November 11th.