Knights Of The Old Republic soared straight to the top of the UK's All Format chart today, ending Sony's Eye Toy summer residency after four straight weeks, and providing the Xbox with its first true blockbusting success since Splinter Cell late last year.
Three other new releases entered the Top 40 this week, with Sony's Dark Chronicle debuting at No.10, and EA's Madden NFL 2004 making a surprisingly strong entry at No.11, while Eidos' The Italian Job got off to a quiet start at No.19.
Elsewhere, EA continued to dominate the upper echelons of the listings with four of its Platinum releases in the Top 10, headed up by FIFA 2003 (No.3), The Two Towers (No.6), Medal of Honor: Frontline (No.7), and James Bond 007: Nightfire (No.9). A further ten EA titles occupy the Top 40, underlining its continued dominance.
In the rest of the chart, it was interesting to note the rapid decline of Pokemon Sapphire and Ruby down the listings, now at No.12 and No.18 respectively - and although its performance nearer Christmas may yet pick up, the signs seem ominous.
Worse still was the performance of two highly rated recent releases; firstly Capcom's Chaos Legion, which tumbles to No.40 on its second week of release, while Sega's Xbox exclusive Otogi: Myth Of Demons drops out of sight to No.12 on the Xbox chart, despite positive critical acclaim.
SCi, however, seems to be enjoying a purple patch of late, with The Great Escape holding its own at No.4, while its eagerly awaited Conflict: Desert Storm II looks a good bet for the No.1 position next week - allowing the Wandsworth-based publisher to enjoy the unusual situation of having two Top 10 hits at the same time - both coded by Pivotal, the developer it is tipped to buy shortly, following the collapse of Kaboom.