NEWS - Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Halo 2 Pre-Orders Pass 1.5 Million

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 19, 2004 — There hasn’t been this much anticipation for an otherworldly touchdown since Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. With three weeks to go before the game hits store shelves, pre-orders for “Halo® 2” – the highly anticipated Xbox® exclusive from Microsoft Game Studios – have eclipsed the 1.5 million mark in the United States. With phenomenal record-breaking video game pre-orders, “Halo 2” is poised to generate more revenue in 24 hours than day one sales of any full feature movie in entertainment history, including “Spider-man 2,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Matrix: Reloaded.” In the U.S., the anticipation builds to a fever pitch on Nov. 9 when thousands of shoppers line up to be among the first to get their hands on the action-packed thriller. The first copy of “Halo 2” will be distributed at a Midnight Madness event at the largest Toys “R” Us in the world located in Times Square, New York. Toys “R” Us Times Square will open its doors at 12 midnight on November 9, and deliver the first retail copy of the game to a lucky fan. “The original ‘Halo’ is still a top ten title three years after it hit shelves, and the buzz for the sequel is off the charts,” said John Barbour, president, Toys “R” Us, U.S. “We can think of no more appropriate place to unveil ‘Halo 2’ than the site Xbox first launched–Toys “R” Us Times Square.” More than 6,500 U.S. participating retailers*- including Gamestop, EB Games, Best Buy, Gamecrazy, Game Rush, Circuit City, Kmart Super Center stores and FYE, will open their doors at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9 to allow for sales of “Halo 2,” Xbox consoles and Xbox Live™ Starter Kits. The global launch of “Halo 2” will also be marked by celebrations from November 9 through November 11 at more than 1,125 retail stores in cities around the world including London, Seoul, Toronto and Sydney. “Halo 2” will be translated into seven languages (Japanese, Korean, traditional Chinese, Spanish, French, German and Italian) and will be distributed in 27 countries. “‘Halo 2’ is expected to be the biggest 24 hours for a video game title in retail history and is projected to bring in more revenue than any day one box office blockbuster movie in the United States,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of worldwide publishing and marketing for Xbox. “We call it the Halo 2 effect. We’ve even heard rumors of fan anticipation of the ‘Halo 2 flu’ on November 9.” “Halo 2,” the follow up to the marquee Xbox title, “Halo: Combat Evolved,” was selected for the Toys “R” Us Joy List as one of the expected top sellers this holiday season. “Halo 2” utilizes Xbox Live to redefine online play, delivering superior online multiplayer capabilities, which allow gamers to engage with or against friends from around the world in an effort to save humankind. Developed exclusively for Xbox by Bungie Studios, part of Microsoft Game Studios, the original “Halo” has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide and spawned a legion of powerful devotees who participate in competitions, tournaments and game nights


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