UK Charts: PES4 in at number one as football battle kicks off

PES4 takes a lead on the PS2 as EA and Konami face off once more.

Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 4 has displaced EA's FIFA 2005 from the top of the all-formats chart, racking up the third best sales week ever for any title in the UK and comfortably beating last week's FIFA 2005 figure.

While FIFA still has the advantage in overall sales thanks to being a multi-platform title, comparing the PS2 versions of the games shows that PES4 sold 50 per cent more this week than FIFA did in its launch week last week.

The Xbox and PC versions of Konami's title won't arrive until late next month, making it hard to make a direct comparison between the games - although on the basis of these figures, it certainly seems like Konami has closed the gap between the competing titles even further.

However, if last year's performance is anything to judge from, it's likely that sales of PES will fall off much more rapidly than FIFA, which had a significantly longer shelf life than its competitor in the last round of battle between the two soccer giants.

The launch of PES4 may have knocked FIFA 2005 off the top spot, but it hasn't hurt sales of the title - which were actually up 9 per cent this week, installing the game solidly in the second place position.

The only other major mover in the top ten was Activision's Tony Hawks Underground 2, which climbed four places to number three this week; although the PC and GBA versions of the game were new out this week, this climb is more down to marketing for the product than to the launch of the new SKUs.

Microsoft's Fable, meanwhile, drops from number two to number four with an almost 50 per cent reduction in sales, and also loses the top of the Xbox chart to FIFA 2005, while Nintendo has a new release at the top of the GameCube chart - with Donkey Konga debuting in pole position in the single-format ranking, and at number 17 in the all-formats chart.

The only other new entry in the top 40 chart is Codemasters' Club Football 2005, which is in at number 28 thanks to the launch of the PS2 version, while another Codemasters title - Toca Race Driver 2 - also re-enters the chart thanks to the launch of the PS2 edition, in at number 23.

This week is a bit of a lull in the usual storm of releases during this quarter, although there are still quite a few major titles hitting retail shelves - including Eye Toy effort SEGA Superstars, PS2 exclusive Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Vivendi's Tribes Vengeance on PC, Codemasters' LMA Manager 2005, Sony's World Rally Championship 4 and Take 2's console versions of Vietcong: Purple Haze.

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Rob Fahey

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