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UK Charts: Driv3r races to No.1

Atari scores first chart topper since Enter The Matrix with this year's fastest-selling title...

The huge pent up demand for Driv3r ensured that Reflections' long-awaited sequel was catapulted to the top of the charts in its first full week on sale. According to Chart-Track, the game has the 11th highest-ever weekly sales of any PS2 title, and the fifth highest ever weekly sell through for any Xbox title.

Although Chart-Track does not quote sales figures in its weekly reports, estimates place Driv3r's sales at over the 150,000 mark - going some way to disproving the tiresome theory that games don't sell well in the summer. To cap the good news for Atari, Driv3r has also outperformed the sales performance of the previous titles in the series, and is this year's fastest selling title to date.

Last week's No.1, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow dropped to No.4 (No.3 PS2, No.3 Xbox), while last week's highest new entry, Shrek 2, climbed three places to No.2 (No.2 PS2, No.4 Xbox, No.2 GameCube, No.1 GBA, No.14 PC), and former No.1 Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban slipped to No.3 (No.5 PS2, No.14 Xbox, No.4 GameCube, No.8 PC, No.3 GBA).

On the new release front, THQ's Xbox-only Full Spectrum Warrior entered at No.6 (No.2 Xbox), Ubisoft's Champions Of Norrath debuted at No.19 (No.8 PS2), Codemasters' World Championship Snooker 2004 went in at No.24 (No.17 PS2, No.12 Xbox), while Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising charted at No.28 (No.5 PC).

Outside of the main listings, Sierra's Ground Control II went in at No.34 (No.6 PC), Mashed made a belated debut at No.39, while International Golf Pro entered at No.26 in the budget price All Formats.

This week's Missing In Action list is longer than usual, thanks to a typically packed end of quarter schedule. Donkey Kong Country 2 made it to just No.9 on the GBA chart, while Vivendi's duo of Crash: Fusion and Spyro: Fusion entered at No.6 and No.8 on the GBA listings respectively. F-Zero: GP Legend, meanwhile, made a belated entry to No.20 on the GBA chart.

Those which fell by the wayside included: Rainbow Six 3 (Cube), Samurai Jack, Risk, World War Zero, IndyCar Series 2005, Warlord Battlecry III, and a handful of games we've never heard of before and doubtless never will again.

Of the recently released crop, Euro 2004 continued to do well (No.5), Red Dead Revolver slipped to No.8, Hitman Contracts climbed back to No.10, Mario Golf slipped seven to No.17, Thief dropped 12 to No.20, Sonic Advance climbed 18 to No.21, Singstar dropped another four places to No.22, Smash Court Tennis 2 climbed five to No.25, England International Football dropped to No.35, Fight Night slipped six to No.37, and Hyper Street Fighter II: Anniversary Edition propped up the chart at No.40.

Credit, once again to the stalwarts of the listings, with Pro Evolution Soccer 3 (No.9), Need For Speed Underground (No.12), Sonic Heroes (No.13), FIFA 2004 (No.14), GTA Vice City (No.15), CM 03/04 (No.16), The Sims (No.18), Finding Nemo (No.23), Simpsons Hit & Run (No.26), Rising Sun (No.29), Splinter Cell (No.32), Colin McRae Rally 04 (No.33), True Crime (No.34), Return Of The King (No.36), Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain (No.38) and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 (No.39) all continuing their amazing chart runs at the expense of many high profile releases this year.

The next couple of months are likely to see little in the way of big new releases, but brace yourself this Friday for Athens 2004, NHL Eastside Hockey Manager, Kirby And The Amazing Mirror, Kreed, Showdown: Legends Of Wrestling, Outfront and the PC version of World Championship Snooker 2004.