Aided by an improvement in retail supply for the Xbox 360 console, EA continues its unassailable dominance of the top of the sales chart as Need for Speed: Most Wanted claims its tenth week at number one.
The multi-format racer has matched the record set previously by EA when the last game in the franchise, Need for Speed: Underground 2, topped the Christmas charts and lead the UK software sales for ten weeks at the beginning of last year.
As multi-format sales continue to climb for the title, it becomes increasingly likely that EA will set a new record for the longest serving all-formats number one title since Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in 2001.
The publishing giant has featured prominently in the higher end of the sales chart for months now, and the situation is no different this week as EA claims all but one of the top five chart positions. The Sims 2 holds firm in second place, and Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 5 is stealing third while FIFA 06 and Rugby 06 cling to fourth and fifth respectively.
Ubisoft movie tie-in Peter Jackson's King Kong, which snuck into first place for a brief few days just after Christmas, slips another place from five to six this week - whilst the company's Rugby Challenge 2006 remains static at number seven.
Take-Two's PSP offering, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, grips eighth place, and a slight shuffle at the lower end of the top ten sees Lucasarts' Star Wars: Battlefront II jump a single place from ten to nine - making way for Nintendo's new entry, DS title Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time.
The remainder of the chart remains in a relatively stationary state with the only remarkable change being a dramatic downward turn in sales for some titles, such as Microsoft Game Studios' Dead or Alive 4 - an Xbox 360 exclusive that leap into first position before being shunted unceremoniously from the top of the charts and showing a disappointing further decline from last week's number six to this week's 17.
Few new releases scheduled for this week are likely to make any significant impact on the all-formats chart, and although continued improvements in the retail situation for Microsoft will certainly boost the overall software sales the impact of the latest console hardware transition on the industry looks set to continue, at least in the short term.
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