Sonic and Mario put rivals in a spin


‘Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games’ wins a dramatic sprint to the line this week, gaining 6 places to reach No1 and beating the Christmas No1 favourite EA’s ‘Need for Speed: ProStreet’ in a photo finish with only 330 sales separating the two.

The Sega published Wii-exclusive title claims a personal best weekly sales figure, up 39% on last week, making it far and away the best performing Wii game over any 7-day period. Sega’s All Formats gold medal win can be seen as ‘wind assisted’ due to it being a major part of several Wii retailer bundles. It is the first Sonic No1 since ‘Sonic Mega Collection Plus’ in week 5 2005 and the first Mario No1 since ‘Super Mario Sunshine’ on Gamecube in week 40 2002. The All Formats Top 5 is very competitive this week with just 8,000 units separating ‘Mario and Sonic’ at No1 and ‘FIFA 08’ at No5. Activision’s ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’ proves that it’s not just Wii games that are enjoying the Christmas run-in, up from No5 to No3, boosted by a 45% increase in sales of the Xbox 360 version (No1 in the Xbox 360 and PC Charts). EA maintain 3 games in the All Formats Top 5 despite ‘The Simpsons Game’ dropping one place to No4 while ‘FIFA 08’ also falls one place to No5 even though its sales are up 18%. ‘Sonic & Mario’ is not the only game to benefit from retailer bundles as ‘Mario Party 8’ makes it two Mario games in the Top 10 (four in the Top 40), climbing from No27 to No10 and Sega’s ‘The Golden Compass’ enters the All Formats Top 40 for the first time since its release 2 weeks ago, sales up 220% thanks not only to bundling but also the release of the film in cinemas. The effect of Wii hardware bundling can be seen further down the chart as Ubisoft’s ‘Rayman’s Raving Rabbids 2’ enters the Top 40 for the first time at No24, while EA’s ‘The Sims 2: Pets’ re-enters at No32. Three new games make this week’s All Formats Top 40 : ‘Link’s Crossbow Training’ which comes bundled with the Wii Zapper gun accessory at No27 followed by Sony’s new PS3 IP ‘Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’ at No28 and the first Pokemon game on Wii ‘Pokemon Battle Revolution’ scraping in at No40.

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