NEWS - Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Driv3r Is a Hit In The UK

Atari's Driv3r has moved up five places to the number one spot in the UK software charts, recording the strongest sales week so far this year for a PS2 title and bettering the performance of both previous games in the series. Although the game debuted at number six in last week's chart, this was due to retailers breaking the street date on the game, and this weeks ranking represents its first official week on sale for the title. Both the PS2 and Xbox versions topped their respective charts, with the PS2 SKU being the 11th best selling PS2 first week of all time, and the best selling first week of the year to date, while the Xbox SKU is the fifth best selling first week of all time on that platform. A strong debut for the game, then, despite the generally poor critical reaction it has received from the press and widespread allegations of some form of foul play on the publisher's part with regard to high review scores in some early print magazines. Another title climbing the charts this week is Activision's Shrek 2, which hops up three places to number two, assisted no doubt by good word of mouth from the preview showings of the movie over the weekend. Last week's number one, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, falls to number four, while Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is down one place to number three and UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal is down two places to number five. Expect it to slip further as interest wanes now that England have been knocked out of the tournament... The highest new entry in the charts this week is Xbox exclusive title Full Spectrum Warrior, which makes a number six debut for THQ - while two other new releases also find their way into the All-Formats Top 40, with Ubisoft's Everquest-branded Champions of Norrath at number 19 and Novalogic's Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising at number 28. The top ranked Xbox title for the week was, of course, Driv3r, while the Cube's top title was Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour - down seven places this week to number 17. Shrek 2 topped the GBA chart, with Sonic Advance 3 in second place, managing an impressive jump of 18 places in the All-Formats chart to number 21. After an exceptionally busy week for new releases, driven by publishers desperate to get products on shelves before the end of the second calendar quarter, this coming Friday looks relatively quiet - with only Acclaim's Legends of Wrestling Showdown (PS2, Xbox) and Sega/Sports Interactive's NHL Eastside Hockey Manager providing much interest. Expect Driv3r to remain in the top spot.


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