NEWS - Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Driv3r Still Topping The Charts In UK

Atari’s Driv3r has stayed at the top of the UK sales charts for a second week, despite a decline in sales of some 17 per cent, while only two new titles entered the All Formats Top 40 as the flood of new titles at the end of June abated. In fact, despite the drop off from its official opening week, Driv3r still outsold the rest of the top five combined, and is certainly the biggest hit of the year to date at UK retail - despite the critical mauling it has received from many commentators. Activision’s Shrek 2 holds its position at number two, assisted no doubt by the cinema release of the film, while EA’s UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal actually climbs two places to number three from last week’s number five. The highest ranked new entry is Sony’s Olympic Games tie-in Athens 2004, which debuts at number eight in the chart - it’s still over a month until the games kick off, though, so expect sales to spike again as we get closer to the event itself. The only other new release is Acclaim’s Legend of Wrestling: Showdown, which appears at number 18 this week, although a number of Vivendi’s mass of releases from a fortnight ago drop into the top 40 for the first time - twin GBA titles Crash Bandicoot: Fusion and Spyro: Fusion are at number 24 and number 31 respectively, while PC strategy title Ground Control 2 scrapes in at number 40. With the traditional race to get titles out before June 30th (and the end of the first half of the year, with its resulting financial statements) now over, there weren’t many titles to go missing in action this week - although Sega and Sports Interactive’s NHL Eastside Hockey Manager is nowhere to be found in the charts, Nintendo’s GBA title Kirby and the Amazing Mirror fails to amaze, or indeed to chart, and Codemasters’ apparently quite good Soldiers: Heroes of World War II is also nowhere to be seen. The top-ranked GameCube title this week was Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, which has actually plummetted out of the top 40 ranking, while Driv3r topped the Xbox chart once more, and Shrek 2 was king of the castle on GBA. Next week is a bit of a shoe-in for Activision’s Spider-Man 2 titles on every format known to man, which will probably spell the end of Driv3r’s reign at the top of the charts, while PS2 exclusives Onimusha 3 and Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain and SCi’s Richard Burns Rally are all interesting titles that could shift a few units despite the summery weather. Nintendo’s Classic NES Series also rolls out on GBA; it will be interesting to see what consumer reaction to the most blatant re-hashing of ancient titles yet on the pint-sized platform is.


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