The timing of the PS2 release has been exceptional, with demand for the Christmas bestsellers finally on the wane and top quality new releases on the Sony platform a little thin on the ground.
Perhaps proving the point, Sony's disappointing action adventure, Primal, made a less than convincing debut at No.4, despite a massive marketing push. How the game will fare in the coming weeks remains to be seen, but a depressing dearth of inspiring new PS2 titles in the coming months might help its cause.
There were mixed fortunes for Microsoft in this week's chart, with its long awaited PC space epic Freelancer making a respectable debut at No.7 in the All Formats, but less than impressive was the All Format absence of its cracking Xbox only beat 'em up Kung Fu Chaos. Scouring other listings revealed it made it to No.6 on the Xbox chart, and No.36 on the Full Price chart, but then given the fact that it has devoted a slim marketing budget to the title, is it any wonder?
In the remainder of the chart, the biggest mover of the week was Ubi Soft's Ghost Recon, now at No.10 thanks to some PS2 and Xbox discounting which saw the game boosted to No.2 on the Xbox chart and No.14 on the PS2 (full price) listings.
Consumers appear to have overlooked the Substance in Konami's MGS2 repackage, which has dropped to No.11 already, while LucasArts' whip-cracking Xbox/PC title Indiana Jones & The Emperor's Tomb is in freefall, down to No.32, although its forthcoming PS2 release might help make it the hit it clearly deserves to be.
Elsewhere, similar levels of consumer apathy have blighted the supreme Metroid Prime, which has plummeted to No.27 after less than a month on sale, while former No.1 Tenchu: Wrath Of Heaven appears to be bidding the Top 40 goodnight already, hanging on at No.38.
The appearance of the Xbox Classics range and the recent price cut has had no discernable effect on the performance of Xbox titles, largely - no doubt - due to the fact that most of the titles in the range have been available at a discounted price for some time. Not one single Xbox exclusive is present in the current Top 40 All Formats.
A quick glance at the Xbox Top 20 however reveals The Sims sitting pretty at No.1, while Eurogamer fave Project Gotham Racing has jumped back up to No.8, and the occasionally superb Buffy The Vampire Slayer has re-entered at No.16. It's also heartening to see the execrable DOA: Xtreme Breast Voyeur has shot its bolt already, slumping to No.14, but on the flip side, it's profoundly depressing to see the Sega's must-have Panzer Dragoon Orta sitting anonymously at No.15. For God's sake, people. Wake up and buy this game.
Ignoring the puzzling performance of Driving Test Success at No.12, cost conscious gamers are picking up Spider-Man: The Movie in their droves, boosting it to No.18 in the All Formats, and No.1 in the budget chart. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex remains at No.2, while Harry Potter: The Philosopher's Stone unsurprisingly remains at No.3.
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