Friday, October 22

Halo 2 breaks records with 1.5 million preorders

Anticipation for Bungie's latest promises one of the biggest entertainment launches ever

Microsoft has announced that pre-orders for Xbox-exclusive title Halo 2 have passed 1.5 million in the United States alone, breaking videogame records and guaranteeing first-day revenues higher than any movie in history.

Over 6,500 stores in the USA are planning to open at 12.01 AM on the morning of Tuesday, November 9th, to sell copies of the game, with the first retail copy set to be distributed at midnight in the Toys 'R' Us store in New York's Times Square.

Additionally, 1,125 further retailers worldwide are planning celebration events for the launch of the game - which will take place between November 9th and November 11th in every Xbox territory, covering 27 countries with seven different language versions.

Anticipation for the sequel to the biggest-selling Xbox game ever doesn't appear to have been dulled by the release of a pirate version onto the Internet last week - a move which has mainly been greeted with outrage by fans of the game.

"Halo 2 is expected to be the biggest 24 hours for a video game title in retail history," boasted Microsoft's VP of worldwide publishing and marketing for Xbox, Peter Moore, in a statement this week, "and is projected to bring in more revenue than any day one box office blockbuster movie in the United States."

The original Halo, which was also Xbox-exclusive originally but was later released on PC and Mac platforms, has now sold over five million units worldwide and is still a regular entry in the monthly top ten sales charts in North America.

Rob Fahey