Gamers Gear Up for The Halo Effect

Gamers Gear Up for The Halo Effect

The third and supposedly-final installment of Microsoft Halo video game franchise, Halo 3, is due to go on sale for the Xbox 360 at midnight, September 24, touching off what the Redmond company hopes is a bonanza of game and Xbox 360 console sales as the industry begins to kick off the end-of-year retail frenzy. Video game fans have already signed up for more than 1.5 million copies of the game via pre-orders, and now more than 10,000 game retailers around the U.S. plan to open their doors at midnight so rabid Halo fans can get thei hands on the game and experience the latest adventures of Master Chief as he battles the alien Covenant. Selected stores in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Miami will be hosting marquee launch events with local celebrities and pro athletes in attendance.

"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, in a release. "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."

Microsoft is offering three editions of Halo 3: a $59.99 Standard Edition (which is the game and only the game), a $69.99 LImited Edition with a metal case and include the a bonus disc along with a Halo fiction and art book. Finally, the ultimate fans will want the $129.99 Legendary Edition, which will only be available in limited numbers, and will come with a "highly collectible" Spartan helmet case and two bonus discs of exclusive content.

Of course, the overall success of the Halo franchise—it’s worth more than a billion dollars to Microsoft—means that while Halo 3 may complete the initial game trilogy, fans can reasonably expect the Halo universe to continue expanding, with new games expansion into other media. In fact, in additional efforts to develop a Halo feature film, Microsoft has inked a deal with Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson to create a new game series set in the Halo universe, in addition to a wholly original game series.

Halo 3 is available exclusively for the Xbox 360 console system, and is rated M for “Mature” by the ESRB.

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