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UK Charts: Xbox 360 breaks sales records

Beats GameCube's record.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 has pipped the record set by Nintendo's GameCube in May 2003 to become the UK's fastest-selling home console at launch despite serious stock shortages, with Perfect Dark Zero the best-selling title on the new platform.

Actual sales figures for the platform have yet to be announced, but according to UK chart data firm Chart-Track, the Xbox 360 has broken the Cube's record - but still trails the PSP handheld console, which sold a massive 185,000 units in its first week on sale.

Looking across Europe, the hardware sales picture is less clear, but it's unlikely that Microsoft has broken Nintendo's record across the territory as a whole - simply because the roughly 300,000 units shipped for day one in Europe for Xbox 360 falls short of Nintendo's 400,000 shipment for the Cube launch, which also sold out.

Microsoft does however intend to bring in fresh shipments of the Xbox 360 every week for the coming months, and hopes to fulfil demand as quickly as possible that way rather than ramping up to a major launch shipment. It's also worth noting that the Xbox 360 retails at a far higher price point than either the Cube or the PSP.

In terms of the balance between the GBP 279 Full System pack, which includes a hard drive and wireless controllers, and the GBP 209 Core System pack - which doesn't - the ratio of sales between those two was approximately 2:1. This does however reflect the ratio in which they were shipped by Microsoft rather than actual consumer demand, since given the shortages, most buyers took whichever pack was available to them.

Looking at software, Perfect Dark Zero was both the highest-rated new release in the All-Formats Top 40 - coming in at number 12 in the ranking - and the top-selling Xbox 360 title in the chart, followed closely by Project Gotham Racing 3, which was at number sixteen in the All-Formats chart.

EA's Xbox 360 releases helped to boost the sales of their top franchises during the week, keeping Need for Speed: Most Wanted in the top spot, while FIFA 2006 and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire followed in third and fourth place respectively.

Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 5, at number two, kept EA from taking a hat-trick at the top of the charts; while further down the top ten, Vivendi's 50 Cent: Bulletproof held steady at number five, Activision's Call of Duty 2: Big Red One climbed three places to number six, and Star Wars: Battlefront 2 drops a single place to number seven.

Ubisoft's King Kong is new in the top ten this week, rising four places to number eight, while Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories remains the top-seller on PSP and climbs a single place to number nine.

Looking at other new entries in the chart, one other Xbox 360 exclusive makes a debut, namely SEGA's Condemned: Criminal Origins at number 36, while Ubisoft's Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones has a slightly disappointing start at number 29, and Quake 4 re-enters the chart on the strength of its Xbox 360 showing, at number 39.

This Friday sees the Christmas launch rush slow down a little at last, giving the market a chance to digest the titles already on retail shelves - but several key titles will arrive nonetheless, including handheld versions of King Kong, Xbox and Cube versions of Buena Vista Games' Chronicles of Narnia movie tie-in, Eidos' Championship Manager PSP, and Nintendo's Battalion Wars on Cube.

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey


Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.