"Halo 3" Registers Biggest Day In US Entertainment History With $170 Million In Sales

LONDON– Thursday 27th September - Microsoft today announced that the Xbox 360 exclusive game“Halo 3” has officially become the biggest entertainment launch in history, garnering an estimated $170 million in sales in the United States alone in the first 24 hours. The Xbox 360 title beat previous records set by blockbuster theatrical releases like“Spider-man 3” and novels such as“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

“Halo 3” is the conclusion to the epic trilogy and picks up where“Halo 2” left off, answering questions around the fates of the beloved protagonist Master Chief and his artificial intelligence sidekick Cortana as they struggle to save humankind from destruction at the hands of the alien coalition known as the Covenant. In addition to the rich storyline,“Halo 3” continues the franchise’s grand tradition of delivering innovative online multiplayer experiences via Xbox LIVE, the world’s largest social network on TV.

“Halo 3 has become a pop-culture phenomenon,” said Neil Thomson, Senior Regional Director, Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft UK.“Not only is“Halo 3” setting sales records, it’s also redefining entertainment. Within the first 24 hours alone, we’ve seen more than a million Xbox LIVE members worldwide come online to play Halo 3– that makes September 25 the most active Xbox LIVE gaming day in history.”

Retailers have also expressed their excitement about the launch of“Halo 3.”

Bob McKenzie, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for GameStop Corp commented that,“With consumer demand for Halo 3 and related products, we expect it to be the biggest video game title generator in GameStop's history."

“The initial demand we’ve seen for‘Halo 3’ has been astounding, and the game is on track to become the number one gaming title of all time.‘Halo 3’ is a genuine entertainment phenomenon and our customers have responded very enthusiastically to the release,” said Jill Hamburger, vice president of movies and games at Best Buy.

Developed by Bungie Studios, the“Halo” franchise is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and optimized for the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network. The more than 7 million Xbox LIVE users will get a continually evolving gaming experience with“Halo 3.” 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 are just some of the new features to experience.

More than 10,000 retailers in the US hosted Midnight Madness events to celebrate the launch of this third installment in the billion-dollar franchise. In New York, Seattle, Miami and Los Angeles, Microsoft and retail partners hosted marquee launch events that featured contests and appearances by local celebrities and professional athletes who are fanatical about the“Halo” franchise, including Ludacris and Zac Efron and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

More than 1.7 million copies of“Halo 3” were preordered in the United States before a single store opened its doors at midnight, Sept. 25, 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” was a worldwide celebration that released in 37 countries and available in 17 languages.

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For further information please contact:

Kate Szlendak / 0118 909 5334 / v-kaszle@microsoft.com

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox LIVE online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a catalogue of more than 160 high-definition games and is available in 37 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

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.

About ISFE

Established in 1998 and registered in 2002 under Belgian law as an international association with scientific and pedagogical purposes, ISFE (the Interactive Software Federation of Europe) represents the interests of the interactive software sector throughout the 27 EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Today, ISFE membership comprises 13 major publishers of interactive software as well as 11 interactive software trade associations throughout Europe.


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