Rather predictably, Atari's Driv3r steps up to number one in the ELSPA/ChartTrack All Formats chart this week, after an entry at number six thanks to early selling by some very naughty retailers. Powered by unprecidented hype and a very questionable magazine review strategy, the only question remaining is: how many of the 2.5 million shipped units will Atari find back on its door step?
In a similar fashion, though with reasonable reviews, is Shrek 2, which entered at five last week and this week moves into number two spot. This is certainly a result of the movie's advanced screenings, and the game should enjoy a further boost when the movie goes on general release.
EA's latest Potter offering, Prisoner of Azkaban, slips another place to three, and the company's latest FIFA-em-up, UEFA Euro 2004 drops back to five. Between the two is Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow in a number four.
THQ's latest AAA title, the Xbox-only Full Spectrum Warrior, enters at number six. The always present Mcafee Internet Security find itself at number seven, with Rockstar's Red Dead Revolver slipping from four to eight. Looks like the gunslinger hasn't proven as popular as its Rockstar stablemates.
Football continues to be a popular top-10 theme, with Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 3 still hanging in at number nine. Eidos' Hitman: Contracts feels a slight boost, with the title re-entering the top 10 at the number 10 spot.
This week sees other new entries from Champions of Norrath, Ubisoft's latest in the Everquest MMORPG series, placed at 19. Codemasters' World Championship Snooker 2004 makes itself known at 24 - it is snooker after all - and Novalogic's Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising for the PC enters at 28. Another Codies title, Colin McRae Rally 04, re-enters at 33 thanks to its new budget price point on PS2.
The GBA's Sonic Advance 3 leaps to 21 after a rather miserable entry at 39 entry last week. Atari's Shadow Ops: Red Mercury didn't get the same treatment, falling victim to an unhealthy drop in sales. After a less than impressive entry at 21 last week, due (or so we thought) to more early-selling tactics, the Xbox exclusive slides uncontrollably to 37.
MIA this week are new releases from Ground Control 2 for PC - which makes a healthy number six dent in the PC chart but fails to scratch the All Formats - and Codemaster's Indy Car Series 2005, which completely failed to materialise - surely a result of European apathy to the US' F1 wannabe.
Next week, Athens 2004 and Doom Collectors Edition, plus Showdown: Legends of Wrestling.