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UK Charts: GTA San Andreas smashes UK sales record

Estimated 677,000 sales in its first two days on sale....

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has comprehensively smashed the all-time UK sales record for a videogame's first weekend, selling an estimated 677,000 units according to UK research body Chart-Track.

The PlayStation 2-only title went on sale across Europe on October 29th, and despite fears of a stock shortage, Chart-Track's 6500 strong UK retail panel picked up some 575,156 units.

Given that it's estimated that this panel represents around 85 per cent of the total UK market, Chart-Track has estimated that around 677,000 units were sold in total across the country.

In European terms, this figure is likely to be nudging 1.5 million, while US figures could well be in the same ball-park. To sell over three million copies across the world in its first few days on sale would be a truly unprecedented feat for Rockstar, and probably sets a new benchmark for consumer entertainment launches, never mind videogames, with each copy costing consumers an average of £35.45 (according to ChartTrack data).

In gross revenue terms, the game would have generated around £24 million in the UK alone over the weekend, and projected across the world that figure could be as much as £106 million, or put in international currency terms, $195.5 million or 153.97 Euros. Put in context, if a movie were to gross that much at the box office, it would instantly be classed among the all-time greats - that's how big Rockstar's game has become.

But in historical terms, no-one could say they didn't see this coming. Two years ago, GTA: Vice City smashed sales records, selling over 250,000 units in the first week - and until now remained the fastest seller. That San Andreas has not only beaten that record but utterly pulverised it spells out the pent up demand for the universally acclaimed title.

Put into further context, ChartTrack figures reveal that only 10 PS2 titles have sold more in their whole lifetimes - two of those GTA titles, both having sold over one and half million copies each. What's to say San Andreas won't now go on to top them both and also go on to become the fastest million seller ever in addition?

Meanwhile, in the rest of the UK Chart, EA's 'FIFA 2005' drops to No2 in the All Formats Top 40 with steady sales, while Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 4 drops to No.3, with sales down almost 50 per cent. Burnout 3 move up one place to No.5, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 moves up 15 places to No.6 (thanks to being re-launched following a recall).

In terms of new releases, the budget priced Drakengard enters at No.12, Total Club Manager 2005 debuts at No.24, Sega Superstars makes a belated entry at No.27, while the Full Price All Formats boasts Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders at No.33, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection at No.37 and NBA Live 2005 at No.39. Tragically, the excellent Sly 2: Band Of Thieves follows the disappointing sales of the original by missing out on the charts entirely, largely, no doubt, thanks to being released in the same week as you know what.

Several other titles made our weekly Missing In Action list, notably Grand Theft Auto Advance (No.17 GBA chart), Dancing Stage Fusion, Under The Skin, Ford Racing 3, Powerdrome, Premier Manager 2004-2005, Midway's Arcade Treasures 2, and Mortyr II.

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