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UK Charts: Gran Turismo fourth fastest ever

GT4 sells more than a quarter of a million units to clock up the fourth biggest opening week ever.

Polyphony Digital's PS2 exclusive racing title Gran Turismo 4 has roared into pole position in the UK charts, selling over a quarter of a million units to clock up the fourth biggest opening week ever.

Repeated delays to the game's launch date don't seem to have dampened consumer appetites in the slightest, and in fact the game's first week sales almost equalled the combined first weeks of the previous three titles in the series - GT 1, 2 and 3 sold 285,000 units between them in their launch weeks.

Unsurprisingly, Gran Turismo 4 tops the UK chart by quite a margin this week, pushing Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater down into second place, and squeezes in behind GTA: San Andreas, GTA: Vice City and Halo 2 in the all-time fastest-selling games ranking.

Electronic Arts' FIFA Street is the next new entry in the chart, debuting at number three in the ranking, followed closely by Super Mario 64 DS which becomes the top-ranked of three Nintendo DS titles that entered the charts this week off the back of the launch of the handheld platform in the UK.

Mario comes in at number four, while Wario Ware Touched! is at number six, and Rayman DS also scrapes into the top ten - the only third-party DS title to do so - at number ten.

Looking at the DS games further down the ranking, another Ubi title, Asphalt: Urban GT, is at No.12, while EA's DS duo of The Urbz and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 are at Nos. 15 and 16 respectively, and Nintendo's own Pokemon Dash manages comes in at No.18.

In total, 12 games from the DS launch line-up made it into the top 40, which is a fairly significant achievement for a new platform - although retail will undoubtedly be watching performance closely over future weeks, mindful of the fact that the GBA's software sales have disappointed consistently in the UK despite the success of the platform at launch.

Back in the top ten, there was one other new release of note - with EA's first expansion pack for The Sims 2, University, coming in at number five in the ranking. Only two other non-DS new releases entered the ranking this week - with Eidos' Project: Snowblind underperforming with a No.30 debut as the Xbox version joins PS2 on the shelves, while Atari's GTR - FIA GT Racing title came in at No.35.

After such a busy week at UK retail, there's no let-up this Friday either - with major releases such as Ubisoft's Brothers In Arms (PS2, Xbox, PC), EA's Fight Night Round 2 (GC, Xbox, PS2) and Capcom's Resident Evil 4 (Cube) all competing for consumers' affections.

Also hitting the shelves will be Atari's Act of War: Direct Action, Nintendo's Mario Party 6, EA's Rugby 2005, and Eidos' Championship Manager 5 - a chance for fans of the genre to finally see the results of the first outing for the much-loved franchise since its creators, Sports Interactive, parted company with the brand to work on the Football Manager series for SEGA Europe.