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Sony's PSP smashes UK records with 185k sales at launch

The PlayStation Portable has officially enjoyed the biggest launch weekend of any console in the UK, with around 185,000 units of the system being sold in its first three days at retail.

The PlayStation Portable has officially enjoyed the biggest launch weekend of any console in the UK, with around 185,000 units of the system being sold in its first three days at retail.

The figure - which comes from UK market analysts Chart-Track - is more than double the sales of the previous record holder, the Nintendo DS, which sold around 87,000 units in its first weekend back in March.

The performance of the console reflects the pent-up demand in the UK market for the PSP, which has been heavily featured in the mainstream media here since it launched in Japan nine months ago.

It also defies retail fears that Sony might be unable to meet demand for the system - with initial concerns over a small first day shipment proved unfounded as the company continues to refill the channel with more units on what SCE UK boss Ray Maguire told GamesIndustry.biz is "a daily basis."

Software for the system also sold strongly, with 20 of the 24 titles for the system entering the top 40 and nine of the top ten titles last week being PlayStation Portable games, with the only exception being Codemasters' Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 at number two.

However, there was no stand-out hit title in the first week - with Namco's Ridge Racer being the number one seller, but only going out to around a fifth of PSP purchasers, or roughly 37,000 unit sales.

Instead the software sales were spread around several top titles, with Wipeout Pure coming in at number three, Virtua Tennis at number four, Metal Gear Ac!d at number five and Need for Speed Underground: Rivals at number six.

In fact, five of the top ten titles are PSP racing games this week - with Rockstar's Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition and Codemasters' Toca Race Driver 2 joining the three previously mentioned racers at numbers seven and eight respectively.

In terms of non PSP titles in this week's chart, only two new games enter the ranking - with Novalogic's Delta Force: Black Hawk Down on the Xbox and PS2 debuting at number one on the Xbox chart, and entering the all-formats chart at number 15, while Microsoft's Dungeon Siege II tops the PC chart but only reaches number 33 on the all-formats ranking.

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