GTA loses out to NFS Underground... again

Official ELSPA Entertainment Top 20 Software Chart (all prices) - week ending 11 December

1 (1) Need For Speed: Underground 2
(PS2, Xbox, PC, Gamecube)
2 (2) Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
3 (5) Call Of Duty: Finest Hour
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)
4 (4) The Incredibles
(PS2, Xbox, GBA, Gamecube, PC)
5 (3) FIFA 2005
(PS2, PC, Xbox, GBA, Gamecube)
6 (13) Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube PC)
7 (7) GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)
8 (10) The Getaway: Black Monday
9 (6) Pro Evolution Soccer 4
(PC, Xbox, PS2)
10 (8) Halo 2
11 (11) The Urbz: Sims In The City
(PS2, Xbox, GBA, Gamecube)
12 (9) WWE Smackdown vs Raw
13 (12) The Simpsons: Hit and Run
(PS2, Xbox, PC, Gamecube)
14 (18) The Sims 2
15 (15) Killzone
16 (20) Lord Of The Rings: The Third Age
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, GBA)
17 (17) Sonic Heroes
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)
18 (NE) Lord Of The Rings: Battle For Middle-Earth
19 (23) EyeToy: Play 2
20 (36) Shrek 2
(PS2, GBA, Xbox, Gamecube)

With just one more full week of sales to go before the big day, it's no surprise that the chart is as unchanged as Jim Davidson's panto routine. NFS Underground 2 is still leading San Andreas, despite the fact that both games' sales are down dramatically from last week.

The only real climbers in the 20 are Call Of Duty and Prince Of Persia, both of which saw a massive peak in sales, probably due to some prominent and pretty TV advertising. You'll need to look even harder for new entries though, as only Lord Of The Rings: Battle For Middle-Earth has managed to break into the entire 40 at all.

With so little movement in the top 20, probably the most interesting nuggets of info are based on the sales of the actual consoles themselves. For, despite the huge demand for PS2, the shortages of slimline hardware have seen Sony sales slide by a steep 21%. Unfortunately, neither Microsoft nor Nintendo took advantage, with Xbox losing 3% of sales since last week, while Gamecube has sold more than at any time during 2004. But even that leaves it down dramatically from last year's figures.

In the deeper reaches of the fun 40, the only surprise continues to be the amount of budget film tie-ins that lurk in these lowly places. With Shrek 2 having popped up again at 20, no one will be surprised to also see Shark Tale at 28, Finding Nemo at 29, Harry Potter at 32, Spider-man 2 at 34 and Scooby-Doo at 35. Which still leaves no room for the likes of Ratchet and Clank 3, Metroid 2, Zelda or Paper Mario.

With Christmas just over a week away, and the release of new titles slowing to a trickle, the chart is now just about each game jockeying for position. With no more than seven days till the festive number one is announced, can Need For Speed and GTA hang on when their sales are on the slide while Finest Hour and Warrior Within accelerate? Or will the massive movie takings of The Incredibles push that family-friendly title above them all? We will find out next week.

Leisure software charts compiled by ChartTrack
(C) 2004 (UK) Ltd