Sony's long-delayed racing title Gran Turismo 4 is off to a strong start in Japan, with about 635,000 units of its initial 1 million unit shipment sold through in its first week at retail despite being delayed past Christmas.
The game was originally meant to launch in early December, but was pushed back to a December 28th date at the last minute - a change which doesn't seem to have dampened enthusiasm for the popular racing franchise.
The 635,000 sales figure means that Gran Turismo 4 is selling faster than its predecessor, Gran Turismo 3, which sold around 620,000 units in its first week on shelves in Japan.
The Nintendo DS continues to build momentum in the Far East, with key titles for the new system selling exceptionally strongly - notably Super Mario 64 DS and Wario Ware Touched!, which both sold over 100,000 units once again and took second and third place respectively in the chart.
By contrast, the low shipment volumes of the PSP have hampered software sales for the device, and no PSP title enters the top ten this week - a situation which will undoubtedly improve as Sony gets its retail shipments up to speed in the coming weeks and months.
Elsewhere in the top ten, Aquaplus' PS2 sequel to the hugely popular dating sim To Heart is at number four, while Konami's Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is at five and Square Enix' Dragon Quest VIII comes in at number six. Only one Cube title makes it into the ranking - Mario Party Six at number seven - and the same is true for GBA, with Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team of Blues at number eight being the only entry for the platform.
In hardware terms, the Nintendo DS was the best selling console in Japan once again last week, taking some 30 per cent market share - just a tiny fraction ahead of the PlayStation 2, which had just shy of 30 per cent. The PSP had a touch under 19 per cent share, while the Game Boy Advance had just over 17 per cent share and the GameCube languishes on slightly over four per cent market share.