UK Charts: Potter solidifies its lead as EA dominates top three

Lack of new releases leaves the coast clear for the boy wizard.

Movie tie-in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban topped the UK software charts again this week, extending its lead with an 81 per cent climb in sales, while publisher EA also took the number two and three places in the ranking.

Soccer title UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal was at number two once again, with a 17 per cent rise in sales no doubt helped by the imminent launch of the event itself, while Christmas number one Need for Speed: Underground rose four places to number three, helped by significant retail price promotions.

The rest of the top ten is much the same as last week's, with Eidos' Hitman: Contracts, Sony's budget priced demo GT4 Prologue, Norton's Internet Security 2004 package and Nintendo's Pokemon Colosseum all shuffling back one place in the ranking to accommodate Need for Speed's rise.

There's only one new release in the entire top 40 this week, with Namco's Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 entering the All-Formats chart at number 22 - with Onimusha Blade Warriors (PS2), F-Zero: GP Legend (GBA) and Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon (PC) all failing to make a mark in the charts.

The biggest climber in the charts this week was... Well, actually it was McAfee Internet Security 6, which hops up from number 34 to number nine, but since that's not actually a game (as many, many of you have pointed out over the past few weeks - but these charts are compiled by Chart-Track on behalf of ELSPA, not by us, so we aren't to blame for the presence of non-game software!) the plaudit goes to EA's The Sims, which is up seven places to number ten thanks to discounting at retail.

The top-ranked Xbox title this week was Ninja Gaiden, at number sixteen in the All-Formats chart, while the top-ranked Cube title was Pokemon Colosseum at number seven - the Cube scoring a rare victory over its nearest rival in the software rankings.

This week's releases should hopefully liven up the charts a bit, and although we don't expect to see Potter losing its grip on the top spot for some time, solid debuts are anticipated for Eidos' Thief: Deadly Shadows and the PS2 version of Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, while Take Two's Red Dead Revolver and SCi's Galleon could also do well with a following wind.

To see the complete chart, click here.

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Rob Fahey

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