UK Charts: GT4 holds off major releases

Strong debuts for Brothers in Arms, Championship Manager 5 and Resident Evil 4.

Polyphony Digital's PS2 exclusive racer Gran Turismo 4 has held on to the top spot in the UK sales chart this week, despite strong challenges from a host of new releases - four of which make it into the top ten ranking.

The biggest challenge to GT4 came from EA's FIFA Street, which saw a 51 per cent rise in sales in its second week, compared with a 53 per cent drop off for GT4, and climbed one place to the number two position.

Behind it, however, came the new releases - with Ubisoft's Brothers In Arms, Eidos' Championship Manager 5 and Capcom's Resident Evil 4 debuting at numbers three, four and five respectively.

There are three new number ones in the single-format charts as well, with Brothers In Arms topping the Xbox chart, Championship Manager 5 on top of the PC chart, and Resident Evil 4 on top of the Cube ranking - with the biggest Cube launch week since Mario Kart: Double Dash, and the fifth biggest launch week ever on the platform.

Despite a relatively healthy launch at the top of the PC ranking, there's little doubt that Championship Manager 5 has been hurt by the repeated delays to the game and the competition with former ChampMan developer Sports Interactive's Football Manager 2005; previous ChampMan releases have routinely caused a reshuffle of the PC fastest sellers chart, but not so in this instance.

Further down the ranking, EA's two new sports titles straddle the boundary of the top ten, with Rugby 2005 at number ten, and Fight Night Round 2 at number 11, while two other new releases come in at the bottom of the top 40 - Ubisoft's Silent Hunter III at number 29, and Nintendo's Mario Party 6 at number 34.

Only one DS game remains in the top ten this week, with Super Mario 64 DS dropping four places to number eight, while of the other top ten DS titles from last week, Wario Ware Touched falls to number 14 and Rayman DS is down to number 25 in the ranking.

Somewhat disappointing from a Britsoft perspective is the lack of any sign of SCi and Bits Corp's movie licensed title Constantine in the ranking; the game was launched at the start of the month and might have expected to chart off the back of the largely well-received movie launch last week, but seems instead to have sunk without trace.

Next week is yet another busy week for releases, with Capcom's Devil May Cry 3 and EA's TimeSplitters Future Perfect leading a field which also includes THQ's The Punisher, EA's Battlefield 2, Capcom's Monster Hunter and Ubisoft's The Matrix Online.

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Rob Fahey

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