Rubber is burning on the race circuits and enemy armies are crumbling on the battlefields. Microsoft has sold more than 1m Xbox One consoles in 24 hours, smashing previous records, and enthusiastic gamers are already putting their machines to the test.
The third version of the US firm's best-selling console, and the first new design to appear in eight years, made its debut in the UK and 13 other markets on Friday, but is already sold out in most retailers.
Microsoft statisticians estimate that owners of the new console have already dispatched more than 60m zombies, driven 3.6m miles and earned 43m fit points as they explore some of the 22 titles available at launch.
"Xbox One is now sold out at most retailers," the company said in a release. "We are working to replenish stock as fast as possible to meet the unprecedented demand from our customers."
The Xbox One is being pitched head to head with Sony's PlayStation 4. The Japanese company's first console release since 2006 sold 1m units in a day after going on sale in just the US and Canada on Friday 15 November. The PlayStation 4 arrives in the UK on Friday.
John Lewis sold its entire stock within two hours of the Xbox One being available online, the retailer said on Sunday. This helped push the department store group's sales above a record £100m for the second week running. The retailer predicts Microsoft's console, which costs £429.99, will outsell Sony's, despite the PlayStation 4's lower £349.99 price tag.
Gamers will be drawn to titles that are exclusive to the Xbox One including Forza Motorsport 5, and a forthcoming live action television series directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the Halo game.
"With exclusive titles, a strong multimedia offering, plus a thoroughly re-worked Kinect motion control system, the Xbox One appears to be ahead of the game this Christmas," said John Lewis gaming buyer Robert Hennessey. "Time will tell which brand continues to deliver the goods, but for now, it's advantage Microsoft."
British games designers will be among the biggest winners from the console wars. The UK industry is spending £68m advertising these new machines and the titles that accompany them in anticipation of a bumper Christmas.
Kinect Sports Rivals, driving game The Crew and the science fiction title Fable Legends are among the UK games designed for the new consoles, and sales will add a final flourish to a record year in which Grand Theft Auto V, created by Scottish firm Rockstar North, became the fastest-selling title in history.
"We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles and look forward to fulfilling holiday gift wishes this season, said Yusuf Mehdi, a marketing and strategy executive at Xbox.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010