UK Charts: FIFA 2005 number one, Fable takes second

Triumph for long-awaited RPG title as it tops the Xbox ranking in style.

EA's latest update to the FIFA Football franchise has gone in at number one in the UK all-formats chart, as expected - but all eyes are on Big Blue Box' Fable, which tops the Xbox ranking and becomes the fastest-selling Xbox game ever.

FIFA 2005 tops the PlayStation 2 chart this week, ousted from the top spot on the Cube chart by Pikmin 2 and on the Xbox chart by Fable, and although the game has the 10th biggest launch week ever for a PS2 title, that's still down on the performance of last year's edition, which is at number six in the all time PS2 first week sales ranking.

British-developed Fable, meanwhile, has replicated its massive success in the USA a couple of weeks ago with an exceptionally strong debut in the UK, taking number two in the all-formats chart and number one in the all-time first week sales ranking for the platform.

The success of FIFA and Fable has seen last week's number one, Star Wars Battlefront, dropping down to number eight in the chart after only a single week at the top, with its sales reduced by nearly 60 per cent over last week's figures.

Only one other new game makes it into the top ten ranking this week, with Activision's Tony Hawks Underground 2 slipping in at number seven in the ranking - giving Activision three in a row in the top ten, in fact, since Rome: Total War is at six and Star Wars Battlefront is at eight.

Two other new releases make it into the chart further down the top 40, with Vivendi Universal's Crash Twinsanity at number 25, while top-ranked Cube title Pikmin 2 joins the all-formats chart at number 32.

There's also space in the chart for a couple of games which were launched a fortnight ago but only make their debut in the ranking this week - namely Activision's Shark Tale, which debuts at number 22 thanks to the launch of the Shark Tale movie last week, and Sony's This Is Football 2005, which seems to have been largely squeezed out of the running by the intense competition between FIFA 2005 and Pro Evolution Soccer 4, and arrives belatedly at number 29.

The missing in action list for the week is pretty short, as there were relatively few minor releases on Friday - in fact, the only game that doesn't seem to have made it into the ranking is, sadly, the excellent Gradius V, although that's hardly a surprise given that old-school side-scrolling shoot 'em ups aren't exactly the flavour of the week with most consumers.

Next week looks remarkably quiet at UK retail; Nintendo's fantastic and somewhat bonkers Donkey Konga hits shelves at last, as does Eidos' Crash 'n' Burn and Codemasters' Club Football range, but the big game of the week, obviously, is Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 4 - which will be hoping to wrest the top spot from arch-rival FIFA 2005 on its debut.

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