Following reports earlier this month that Microsoft plans to open its own branded retail stores, it has been confirmed that Microsoft stores will open in London and other major European cities.

We reported the news that the Redmond giant was looking to take on Apple at its own high street game back in early February. Apple originally launched its own branded stores back in 2001, now boasting over 200 worldwide (20 of which are in the UK).

Games industry trade magazine MCV has confirmed that Microsoft will be opening a London store, selling a whole range of PC and Xbox 360 gaming kit and caboodle.

High profile stores

"Our target is a small number of high profile experience stores in a few major cities around the world," says the big tech firm.

"Our main objective is to change the buying experience for consumers around the world – to show and demonstrate Microsoft's key consumer products in a deeper and more meaningful way, making it more simple and easy for consumers to purchase PCs and devices that truly meet their specific needs."

Somewhat confusingly, Microsoft claims that the move is set to benefit its current relationships with other retailers, claiming that "one of the goals of opening Microsoft stores is to better engage with consumers and gain a better understanding of the consumer PC and device purchase experience."