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UK Charts: Potter casts No.1 spell

Electronic Arts scored its fifth number one of the year today, with multi-format film licence Harry Potter - Prisoner Of Azkaban debuting at the top, displacing EA's former chart topper UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal in the process after a two week run at the summit of the UK All Formats chart.

Two other titles got off to respectable starts, notably Sony's PS2-exclusive GT4: Prologue, which entered at No.4, while Capcom chalked up a surprise Top 10 entry at No.10 with Hyper Street Fighter II Anniversary Edition.

Elsewhere, Hitman Contracts continued its solid run near the top of the All Format charts, remaining at No.3 (No.4 PS2, No.6 Xbox, No.14 PC), Pokemon Colosseum slipped to No.6 (No.1 GameCube), Need For Speed Underground zoomed back up 14 places to No.7 (No.8 PS2, No.10 Xbox, No.6 GameCube) on the back of heavy retail discounting, while in the remainder of the Top 10 Midway's The Suffering dropped one place to No.8 (No.9 PS2, No.5 Xbox), Pro Evolution Soccer 3 held firm at No.9 (No.1 PS2 budget), while Norton Internet Security 2004 continued its successful run, down one place to No.5 (No.1 PC Full Price).

This week's missing in action list was as lengthy as ever, with KOEI's hotly-tipped Disgaea - The Hour Of Darkness nowhere to be found, nor was Namco's Smash Court Tennis 2, Rollercoaster World 2, Eternal Quest, Black Mirror, D-Day 1944 or Syberia 2.

The fortunes of recent releases was generally disappointing, with Sony's much-fancied Singstar continuing its quiet start, remaining at No.12 in its first full week on sale, Van Helsing dropped eight places to No.14, the excellent Transformers sank six places to No.16, while Microsoft suffered the dual disappointment of Ninja Gaiden slipping ten places to No.15 (No.1 Xbox), and Rallisport Challenge 2 dropping 12 places to No.26 (No.2 Xbox). It's fair to say that neither have proved to be the kind of triple A draw that the Redmond giant would have wanted despite excellent review scores, and continues the firms' difficulties in generating true triple A blockbusters that appeal to the mass market.

One company not suffering any such problems is EA, which has no fewer than 13 titles in the All Formats Top 40, with Fight Night (No.11), The Sims (No.17), Everything Or Nothing (No.18). FIFA 2004 (No.20), Return Of The King (No.21), Rising Sun (No.22), Tiger Woods 2005 (No.28), The Sims Bustin' Out (No.30), Cricket 2004 (No.38) and Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (No.39) completing an impressive line-up for the firm.

The rest of the chart was a familiar procession of hits mostly dating back to last Christmas and beyond. A few former chart toppers from this year continue to do well, however, with Sonic Heroes now at No.11, TOCA Race Driver No.25, and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow No.31. Meanwhile, Activision enjoyed a revival of its big two from last Christmas, with True Crime: Streets Of LA re-entertering this week at No.32 and Tony Hawk's Underground back in at No.37.

Next week's chart is unlikely to see a great deal of activity on the new release front, with gamers being tempted with the likes of Onimusha Blade Warrior (PS2), F-Zero Legends (GBA), Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon (PC) and Knights Of The Temple (PS2).

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Kristan Reed avatar

Kristan Reed

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Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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