The Wait Is Almost Over for 2010’s Biggest Entertainment Event: the Debut of“Halo: Reach”

LONDON– 13 September 2010– The most anticipated entertainment event of the year is almost here. Starting at midnight tonight, millions of people around the world will embark on a mission of courage, sacrifice and valour in“Halo: Reach,” the thrilling prequel to the iconic“Halo” trilogy that became a global entertainment phenomenon and defined a generation of gamers over the last decade.

Not since the debut of“Star Wars: Episode I” have fans been so excited to revisit a beloved franchise. Recently dubbed“a pop culture phenomenon” by Variety magazine and hailed as the No. 1 game series of all time1, the“Halo” franchise will once again make history with the launch of“Halo: Reach,” which goes on sale at 12:01 am tonight in more than 25 countries.

“When it comes to the size and scope of a franchise and especially the dedication of the fans, no game is bigger than‘Halo,’” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios at Microsoft Corp.“With‘Halo: Reach,’ we’re delivering on our promise to redefine blockbuster entertainment experiences and ultimately help make this year the biggest ever in Xbox history.”

To celebrate the launch, tens of thousands of retailers around the world are opening their doors at midnight exclusively to sell copies of“Halo: Reach,” as well as“Halo: Reach” Xbox 360 consoles and accessories. Special midnight openings are taking place in major cities around the world, including London, further adding to the fervour surrounding the highly anticipated video game, which is expected to top all previous entertainment launches this year.

“Halo: Reach” tells the tragic and heroic story of Noble Team, a group of Spartans, who through great sacrifice and courage, saved countless lives in the face of impossible odds. The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defence between the encroaching Covenant and their ultimate goal, the destruction of Earth. If it falls, humanity will be perched on the brink of destruction.

Published by Microsoft Game Studios, the“Halo” franchise of games is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. As evidence of the game’s highly anticipated release, more than 2.7 million players participated in the“Halo: Reach” multiplayer beta in May, making it the largest console video game beta test on record and more than triple the size of the historic“Halo 3” beta.

The“Halo” franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original“Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001), the critically acclaimed and record-shattering series of games has since inspired multiple New York Times best-selling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more. To date, more than 34 million copies of“Halo” games have been sold worldwide, driving more than 3.3 billion hours of gameplay by people connected to Xbox LIVE.

Regional Launch Events and“Halo: Reach” Midnight Madness

Around the globe, Microsoft and retail partners are hosting events to give fans a truly memorable“Halo: Reach” launch experience. The main London midnight opening will be held at the following venue:

    <*>U.K.: GAME, Westfield Shopping Centre, London, W12 7GF (evening of Sept. 13)

In addition, retailers around the UK and the world will host midnight madness store openings to usher in the launch of“Halo: Reach,” demonstrating the appeal of an entertainment phenomenon that has elevated video games into mainstream pop culture and permeated every corner of the globe.

Made exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed developer Bungie,“Halo: Reach” will be made available in Standard, Limited and Legendary Editions. More information can be found at http://www.xbox.com/haloreach.

-Ends-

For consumer media enquiries, including details of the 400+ store openings, please contact:

Baz Singh / 020 3047 4024 / balraj_singh@jcpr.com

Nik Thakkar / 020 3047 4087 / nik_thakkar@jcpr.com

For specialist media enquiries, including details of the 400+ store openings, please contact:

Dominic Carey / 01189 095334 / v-docare@microsoft.com

About Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE is the online entertainment service for your Xbox 360, connecting you to an ever-expanding world of games, movies, TV, music, sports and social entertainment. Xbox LIVE lets you play the best games, enjoy the largest on-demand library on any console, listen to millions of songs and share the fun with friends around the world. This holiday season, Xbox LIVE will come to Windows Phone 7 and put the power of connected entertainment in the palm of your hand. Xbox LIVE is also the exclusive home of controller-free online entertainment through Kinect, making your Xbox 360 more intuitive and interactive than ever before. With an active community of 25 million people across 26 countries, expanding to 35 this fall, Xbox LIVE, together with Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7, provides you with instant access to the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, wherever you are. More information about Xbox LIVE can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/live.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a premier home entertainment and video game system. This November, with the addition of Kinect, Xbox 360 will forever transform social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play— no controller required. Xbox 360 is also home to the best and broadest games as well as the largest on-demand library of music, standard- and high-definition movies, TV shows and digital games, all in one place. The entertainment center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with the leading social network of 25 million Xbox LIVE members to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information about Xbox 360 can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq“MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 According to a reader poll by Guinness World Records.


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