NCAA Football’s Sales Up In First WeekSales of "NCAA Football 2005," one of Electronic Arts Inc.'s flagship sports video games, rose by roughly half in the title's first week this year from the release of last year's game, a person familiar with the sales numbers said on Monday. Sales of game, released last week, were up more than 30 percent year-over-year on Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 console, more than 40 percent on Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s GameCube and more than 100 percent on Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox, the person said. EA spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment on the numbers. Last year's "NCAA" game set sales records for the company and was the No. 2 football title of 2003, behind EA's other perennial blockbuster, the "Madden NFL" series. The "Madden" game was the best-selling console game of the year. This year's "NCAA" game is also the first to support online play on the Xbox. EA and Microsoft had a contentious relationship when it came to online play until early this year, when the two sides came to terms and EA said much of its key sports lineup would in future support Xbox Live. Propelled by the return of several legendary franchises, the second half of 2004 is widely expected to be the biggest period ever in industry history. With the rise of the Internet, analysts say there is anecdotal evidence that game buying is becoming more like movie-going, where the heaviest sales traditionally come in the first few weeks after release. "There's definitely a significant amount of people who show up right when (a game) hits a store," said Stewart Halpern, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. "Part of it I think is just a knowledge of when these things show up."