Chart Track, the group responsible for keeping tabs on retail happenings in the entertainment sector in the UK and in Ireland, released the region's first sales figures for the Sony PSP, which launched on September 1. The handheld has sold an estimated 185,000 units through yesterday, making it the most successful console launch in the UK ever.
The PSP shattered the previous mark set by its chief rival, the Nintendo DS, earlier this year. The DS sold 87,000 units at launch when it hit UK shelves in March. The two portables have been battling it out in every region they've been released in, vying for the dominant share of the mobile gaming market with mixed results. The PSP, advertised more as a multimedia machine and targeted at an older demographic, has gotten off to a good start in the UK. The DS, on the other hand, has sold better than the PSP in Japan. In the US, the two saw similar launch successes. While the PSP outsold the DS 600,000 to 500,000 in their respective first weeks on the market, Nintendo's portable has sold more units overall.
The UK launch of the PSP, the third region it's become available in after Japan and North America, is also boding well for its software sales. As in the US, the unit launched with 24 available games, and 20 of those cracked the top 40 all-format software sales charts (figures include sales of titles across all platforms), with nine in the top 10. Ridge Racer took home the number one spot, Wipeout Pure raced into the number three spot, followed by Virtual Tennis: World Tour and Metal Gear Acid at slots four and five, respectively.