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American retailer Target experienced a rather embarrassing mishap this week when one of their distribution centres shipped out a batch of Xbox One consoles – a full three weeks before the release date.

According to a statement made to Kotaku by a spokesperson for Target, a systems error had caused the early shipment, and that the vast majority of pre-orders are scheduled to arrive on the release date.

Apparently Target only assigned release dates to the Day One edition of the console, but didn’t assign any to the other consoles.  Most distribution centres discovered the error before sending off their shipments, but apparently one on the American east coast sent at least one batch before the error was reported.

This led to a number of lucky gamers receiving their consoles early, and one even tried to sell off the console for a ludicrous $9,995.00.  The auction has since been pulled.

Xbox unboxing copy

Another lucky recipient, André Weingarten, started spamming information about the console on his twitter account, listing the size of game installs on the Xbox One, posting images of the packaging, dashboard and various other bits and pieces.

As of this moment, his console is temporarily banned from Xbox LIVE, but he was assured by Microsoft that the ban will be lifted shortly before the official launch.  He has also been invited to a launch event, and apparently Microsoft will make sure he gets there.