Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 11:24 UK

GTA game smashes UK sales records

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Grand Theft Auto gamers' views

Critically acclaimed video game Grand Theft Auto (GTA) IV is on course to beat the record for highest first week sales of any video game in the UK.

The title sold a record 609,000 copies on its first day of release, generating an estimated 24.4m ($48.5m).

The previous record holder was GTA: San Andreas, which sold 501,000 copies in 24 hours in October 2004.

But despite its success the game has been hit by reports of software problems and crashes on some consoles.

"The cut scene at the office is freezing up.. I get audio, but the video just freezes," wrote one gamer on Sony's PlayStation 3 forum.

The problem was originally thought to be confined to games running on the 60GB version of the PlayStation 3 sold in the US. However, other models running the game also seem to be affected.

In addition, gamers that have bought the version for the Xbox 360 have also reported problems.

"Is anyone else experiencing major freezing issues? I cant play the game for more than 10 mins without it freezing," wrote one on the Xbox forums.

Record-breaker

Rockstar, the makers of the GTA series, has acknowledged the problem and is reportedly working on a fix.

The developer experienced similar problems in March when it launched another title, Bully, on the Xbox 360.

Rockstar eventually released a software patch to fix the problem.

The latest bout of crashes could cast a shadow over the record-breaking GTA IV title.

However, despite the problems, reviews have been almost been unanimous in their praise.

The game currently has an average review score of 98.7%, according to Gamerankings.com, which amalgamates reviews from all publications.

UK-based games website Eurogamer called it "game of the year" and handed it a 10 out of 10 review score.

The title cost approximately $100m to make but could quickly recoup the costs.

According to Chart Track it not only recorded the highest sales for any game in its first 24 hours, it also set new records for first day sales for any game on both the PS3 and the Xbox.

The title smashed the PS3 record by nearly 200,000 copies. Previous record holder Gran Turismo 5: Prologue sold just 80,000 copies.

However, it was a closer run race on the Xbox 360. Microsoft's Halo 3 had previously notched up first day figures of 266,000 compared to GTA's recorded 335,000.

Rockstar will find out on Tuesday whether the title will also clinch records for first week sales.




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