Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Halo 3 Release Announced

With the release of Spider-Man 3 earlier this month, blockbuster season is officially open. This summer is packed with big budget Hollywood films including the Transformers movie, the third installment in the tremendously successful Pirates of the Caribbean series, the next Harry Potter, the first Simpsons movie, The Fantastic Four sequel etcetera, etcetera. So it may come as a surprise to hear that many people in the industry are estimating that the highest grossing entertainment vehicle of 2007 won't even be a movie.

If past performance is any indication, Halo 3, the final chapter in the groundbreaking Halo trilogy, is poised to shatter any records set over the next few months for first day sales. Developed by Bungie Studios and exclusive to the Xbox 360, Halo 3 will set a new standard for gaming and entertainment by engaging consumers in an epic battle to save humankind when it is released on September 25.

Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled the multiplayer beta at a star-studded event in Hollywood. Beginning today (May 16), Microsoft Game Studios will kick off the Halo 3 multiplayer beta, which provides audiences around the world with an exclusive, early look at some of the multiplayer elements of Halo 3 on Xbox Live. Gamers who are interested in experiencing the multiplayer beta of Halo 3 can still participate until the Beta ends on June 6, by purchasing specially marked copies of the Xbox 360-exclusive title, Crackdown.

Halo 2 changed the way the world looked at video games when it was released in November of 2004, and generated a record-setting $125 million in sales within the first 24 hours. 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. Today, the Halo franchise has expanded beyond video games into The New York Times’ best-selling books, graphic novels, collectible merchandise and now a new, special edition Zune digital media player.

-J. McKinney