EA’s ‘Need for Speed: Most Wanted’ (PS2/PSP/XB/XB360/PC/DS/GC/GBA) reaches the Christmas finish line at No1, but it was no easy ride with Ubisoft’s ‘King Kong’ (the same 8 formats as ‘Most Wanted’) making an impressive last minute challenge, with a 64% week-on-week sales hike in its film release week and climbing 2 places from No4 to No2. EA have now taken the Christmas No1 for the last 3 years with ‘Most Wanted’s predecessor ‘Need for Speed: Underground 2’ the Christmas No1 last year (both selling very similar units) and ‘Medal of Honor Rising Sun’ Christmas No1 in 2003.
In fact this decade it is 4 out of 5 for EA with only Take 2’s ‘GTA Vice City’ spoiling their party back in 2002. Activision’s heavily retailer promoted ‘Call of Duty 2: Big Red One’ (PS2/XB/GC) claims No3 ahead of the multi-format ‘FIFA 06’ which drops 2 places from No2 to No4. EA’s ‘Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire’ and Konami’s ‘Pro Evolution Soccer are both non-movers at No5 and No6 respectively. Activision’s strong Christmas-week retailer promotions seem to have paid off as they now have 2 Top 10 games with ‘True Crime: New York City’ (PS2/XB/GC) doubling its sales, up from No17 to No9. EA may have 4 Top 10 games, but Activision are also well represented at the top of the charts, with 2 other games in the Top 20: ‘Gun’ (PS2/XB/XB360/PC) at No13 and ‘Call of Duty 2’ (PC/XB360) at No18. There are no new releases in the Top 40 this week, but Ubisoft’s ‘Crazy Frog Racer’ (PS2/GBA/PC) enters the Top 40 for the first time at No20 (in its second week of release) and tops the PS2 budget chart. In terms of the individual charts Activision take 3 No1’s with ‘Call Of Duty 2 / Big Red One’ the Christmas No1 on Xbox, Xbox 360 and PC. The other formats all have different games as the Christmas No1 – PS2 (Need For Speed: Most Wanted), PSP (Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories), Gamecube (Shadow The Hedgehog), GBA (Pokemon Emerald) and DS (Mario Kart DS).