Monday, 24 September, 2007 8:01 PM
Starting at Midnight The Worldwide
Wait for 'Halo 3' Ends
anticipated game expected to register the biggest day in retail
-- Starting tonight "Halo(R) 3," the final chapter of
Microsoft Corp.'s epic video game trilogy, finally goes on sale
around the world. By the end of the week, fans in 37 countries will
be playing the game Wired magazine recently called "a cultural
touchstone, a Star Wars for the thumb stick generation."
In the United States,
more than 10,000 retailers across the country are opening their
doors at midnight tonight solely to sell copies of the game and
accompanying Xbox 360(R) consoles and accessories. With nary a pirate,
a spider or a wand in sight, day-one sales of the highly anticipated
video game are expected to shatter entertainment sales records and
top the biggest entertainment launches of all time.
and demand for 'Halo 3' has transcended a typical video game release
and we're preparing dedicated registers for its midnight release
in our 24-hour stores," said Darin Dickson, video game merchandise
buyer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. "It's clear that this is one of
the most anticipated games of the year and that 12:01 am Sept. 25
will be a memorable moment for thousands of gamers."
The conclusion of "Halo
2" left unanswered questions around the fates of the beloved
protagonist Master Chief(TM) and his artificial intelligence sidekick
Cortana(R) as they struggle to save humankind from destruction at
the hands of the alien coalition known as the Covenant. The legions
of dedicated fans lining the streets tonight are waiting for the
chance to be among the first to own the coveted final chapter in
the "Halo" trilogy and unearth the well-kept secrets of
"Our customers have
been waiting for 'Halo 3' since the day after 'Halo 2' launched
in 2004," said Jill Hamburger, vice president of movies and
games at Best Buy. "'Halo 3' is going to bring the experience
to new levels, and we are excited to help our customers get the
best possible game playing experience."
Developed by Bungie Studios,
the "Halo" franchise is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video
game and entertainment system and optimized for the Xbox LIVE(R)
online entertainment network. The more than 7 million Xbox LIVE
users will get a continually evolving gaming experience with "Halo
3" and its online multiplayer and cooperative gameplay for
Xbox LIVE Gold users, the much-talked-about Saved Films feature
that enables players to capture and save their favorite moments
on their hard drives, and Forge, an innovative map editor that enables
infinite customization options.
"With 'Halo 3,'
Bungie Studios has further mastered the art of marrying fantastic
gameplay with the intangibles that make the experience extraordinary
for gamers, evoking incredible emotion through its story and character
development," said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft
Game Studios. "That emotion is at the heart of what makes this
more than a game and why 'Halo' connects with its audience in the
way other great stories like 'Star Wars' resonated with theirs.
But unlike the static experiences of a great film or novel, 'Halo
3' offers a dynamic and social interactive entertainment experience
that enables players to finish the fight themselves."
Events and Global Celebration
More than 10,000 retailers
are planning events and opening their doors at midnight to celebrate
this third installment in the billion-dollar franchise. In New York,
Seattle, Miami and Los Angeles, Microsoft and retail partners are
hosting marquee launch events that will feature contests and appearances
by local celebrities and professional athletes who are fanatical
about the "Halo" franchise.
The marquee launch
events will be held at the following stores:
- New York: Best Buy,
529 5th Ave, New York, N.Y. 10017
- Seattle: Best Buy,
457 120th Ave NE, Bellevue, Wash. 98005
- Los Angeles: GameStop,
1000 Universal Studios Blvd, Universal City,
- Miami: Circuit City,
8575 Northwest 13th Terrace, Miami, Fla. 33126
- A list of retail outlets
opening at 12:01 a.m. can be found at http://www.xbox.com/unitetofight.
More than 1.5 million
copies of "Halo 3" have been sold before a single store
opens its doors at midnight, making this the fasting pre-selling
game in history, surpassing the previous record-setting pre-sales
of "Halo 2." Well beyond just a U.S. phenomenon, the launch
of "Halo 3" is a worldwide celebration that is releasing
in 37 countries and available in 17 languages.
Made exclusively for
Xbox 360, "Halo 3" will be made available in three versions:
Standard Edition at $59.99 (U.S. ERP*), Limited Edition for $69.99
(U.S. ERP*), and the ultimate collector's item, the Legendary Edition
at $129.99 (U.S. ERP*). The Legendary Edition will be released in
limited quantities and arrive in a highly collectible Spartan helmet
case, along with two bonus discs full of exclusive content. The
Limited Edition will ship in a sleek metal collector's case and
include the first bonus disc found in the Legendary Edition, as
well as a special "Halo" fiction and art book. And for
those who crave nothing more than the highly anticipated third chapter
to one of the greatest gaming trilogies of all time, the Standard
Edition will consist of the "Halo 3" game.
In November 2004 the
world's view of video games changed forever with the release of
"Halo 2," which generated a record-setting $125 million
(U.S.) in sales within the first 24 hours and changed the way people
think about interactive entertainment. Three years later, it remains
the most-played game on Microsoft's Xbox LIVE online gaming and
entertainment network, with nearly 1 billion hours of online gaming
logged to date.