UK Charts: EA holds pole position

Eight weeks at the top for Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

Electronic Arts maintains its extraordinary lead over the competition this week, as 2005's Christmas number one seller, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, tracks the racing line and holds firmly onto first place.

Competition from Ubisoft's big-budget film license increases once more, as Peter Jackson's King Kong jumps two places from fourth to second, knocking EA's The Sims 2 down from two to three.

Pro Evolution Soccer 5 from Konami is pushed down to fourth position, while EA's FIFA 06 and Take-Two's PSP offering, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories remain static in fifth and six place respectively.

Lucasarts enjoys a six position leap with Star Wars: Battlefront II, which climbs from thirteen to seven, while THQ's latest wrestling title, WWE SmackDown! VS Raw 2006 raises itself from the bottom of the top ten to number eight in the charts.

Signs of a steady resolution to the problem of continued shortages for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console continue to affect the all-formats software charts, as Ubisoft's King Kong climbs as a result of sales for the Xbox 360 version, and Activision enjoys a return to the top ten for two of its titles: Call of Duty 2 and Western adventure, Gun.

Electronic Arts' highly anticipated release of Ridge Racer 6 debuts at number twenty and Project Gotham Racing 3 climbs five places from twenty to fifteen. Another launch title for the next-generation console, Perfect Dark Zero, has shown a dramatic rise in sales, climbing from thirty-three to twenty-one in the charts.

If the trend continues, it could signal the beginning of the end for Microsoft's much publicised retail issues, as more and more hardware units hit stores and fulfil long outstanding pre-order requests, as well as enabling in-store purchases which have been noticeably lacking since the console's debut in December.

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Paul Loughrey

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