Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has comprehensively smashed the all-time UK sales record for a videogame's first weekend, selling an estimated 677,000 units according to UK research body Chart-Track.
That figure is more than double that of the previous record holder - San Andreas' predecessor Grand Theft Auto Vice City, which broke sales records two years ago by selling 250,000 units in its first week, and remained the fastest selling title ever until now.
The PlayStation 2 exclusive GTA San Andreas went on sale across Europe on October 29th, and despite fears of a stock shortage, Chart-Track's 6500 strong UK retail panel picked up some 575,156 units. Given that this panel represents around 85 per cent of the total UK market, Chart-Track has extrapolated that around 677,000 units were sold in total across the country.
In European terms, this figure is likely to be nudging 1.5 million, while US figures could well be in the same ball-park. To sell over three million copies across the world in its first few days on sale would be a truly unprecedented feat for Rockstar, and probably sets a new benchmark for consumer entertainment launches, never mind videogames, with each copy costing consumers an average of UKP 35.45 (according to ChartTrack data).
In gross revenue terms, the game would have generated around UKP 24 million in the UK alone over the weekend, and projected across the world that figure could be as much as UKP 106 million, or put in international currency terms, $195.5 million or 153.97 Euro. Put in context, if a movie were to gross that much at the box office, it would instantly be classed among the all-time greats - that's how big Rockstar's game has become.
Put into further context, ChartTrack figures reveal that only 10 PS2 titles have sold more in their whole lifetimes - two of those being the previous GTA titles, both of which have sold over one and half million copies each. San Andreas now appears to be on track to top them both and go on to become the fastest million seller ever in the UK.