Tinie Tempah hands over the first PS4's to Imran Chowdri and Blaine Smith at the official UK launch of Playstation 4 at PS4 Lounge #4ThePlayers, in partnership with GAME. / Jonathan Hordle/REX

Sony's rival to the Xbox One has now launched worldwide; the two titans of home gaming will now go head-to-head over Christmas

Fans queued in the streets last night to be the first to get their hands on Sony's PlayStation 4, which launched in the UK a week after its rival console, the Xbox One.

Imran Choudhary was the first Brit to get his hands on the console, telling the BBC "It was always my goal to try and be one of the first people in the country to get hold of a PS4."

The launch event in London's Covent Garden was one of the few places where fans could get their hands on a console, with all pre-orders for the PS4 sold out since Christmas. Enthusiastic gamers were served on a first come, first served basis.

Amazon have since warned that customers who pre-ordered the PS4 after13 November would not receive the console before Christmas.

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The first French customer to get their hands on the PS4 poses with Sony Computer Entertainment President Andrew House (R). Image credit: IAN LANGSDON/EPA

The launch was co-ordinated across Europe, following the console's debut in North American markets.

Within 24 hours of going on sale in the US and Canada, Sony sold more than one million units of the PS4 - a feat matched by the Xbox One a week later, although Microsoft's launch took in 15 markets in total.

Sony is expecting such a triumphant launch for the PS4 that they have even shut down two online features in order to cope with the influx of new players.

Mercifully for players, these are only minor features and all the major aspects of online play will be intact. Both the 'What's New' feature (where players see what their friends are doing) and 'Content Information Screen' (which logs friends' progress with games) will be turned off.

The PS4's DualShock 4 controller. Image credit: Sony.

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Meanwhile, customers who missed out are being warned to look out for scams, with some websites offering the PS4 in countries where it has yet to be released in quantities of up to 5,000.

NetNames, a company specializing in online brand protection, found more than 75,000 suspcious listings for the PS4 and just under 20,000 for the Xbox One.

“Whilst many retailers will slash their prices to attract bargain hunters in the run up to Christmas, consumers must remain wary of “too good to be true offers” for the must-have festive gifts," said Haydn Simpson, product director of brand protection at NetNames .

"To avoid falling victim to the latest online scams, consumers need to remember that if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is."

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