Video games retailers opened hundreds of stores at midnight this week as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Microsoft’s much anticipated Kinect motion-sensor device hit the shelves.

Call of Duty: Black Ops, launched on Tuesday, is expected to become the fastest and biggest-selling title in games history, and marked the busiest week in the games calendar this year, with Kinect launching on Wednesday.

The industry expects the two significant releases will help boost the dwindling market in the run-up to the crucial Christmas trading period.

KBC Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson described both releases as”huge”. He said: “Call of Duty is one of the leading franchises so will always drive significant volume.”

Hunt added that Kinect was more significant as it would drive incremental sales and could be “worth £15m in gross profit” for market leader Game, which he said could “start to kick in next year” if the retailer executed its strategy correctly and if there was plentiful stock.

Game opened hundreds of stores at midnight on Monday and Tuesday to cater for the shoppers who were eager to get their hands on the two releases.

Some customers camped out for more than 30 hours to get their hands on the items.

For the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops, HMV opened more than 100 of its UK and Republic of Ireland stores at midnight on Monday, while Sainsbury’s opened more than 200 of its stores.

Asda reported that “thousands” of gamers “descended” on its stores that opened at midnight.

A Game spokesman said: “The interest in Call of Duty: Black Ops is so intense that it could well triumph the achievements of Modern Warfare 2 last year and become the fastest-selling video game of all time.”

HMV head of games Tim Ellis said: “Well over 1 million sales are predicted for its first week alone, and with Christmas coming up and more people now owning a console than ever before, we expect it to go on to become the most popular game ever.”