Halo Reach is set to be one of the top selling games this Xmas after the XBox 360 game took off achieving $200 in global sales on its first release day.
A key product for Microsoft, who are still repairing Xbox 360s with the Red Ring Of Death problem, is looking to the game to reverse a slump in console and gaming software sales.
The Halo franchise has sold more than 34 million copies and grossed nearly $2 billion in its nine-year history, boosting the popularity of Microsoft’s Xbox console. The game is made by Bungie, but Microsoft owns the rights to the franchise.
A prequel to the main Halo narrative, Reach, pits players against murderous aliens in a variety of settings, and provides striking graphics, more complex fighting scenarios and new ways of playing with others online.
Microsoft will begin selling its “Kinect” full-body motion-sensing game system on November 4. Rival Sony launched its “Move” motion-controlled gaming system on September 15.
Phil Spencer, vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, told Reuters a lack of blockbuster games was to blame for the industry slowdown, and the success of “Halo: Reach” would support Xbox 360 console sales for the world’s biggest software maker.
“We feel really good about where the ‘Halo: Reach’ numbers are,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Tokyo Game Show, adding that the number of gamers who played “Reach” on Xbox Live, its online system, had topped that of “Halo 3,” the previous title in the series, without providing figures.
“What ‘Halo: Reach’ numbers tell me is gamers are there. They are willing to buy the great experiences when they come out. In fact, that we are exceeding ‘Halo 3’ numbers out of the gate tells me that the industry is in a healthy state.”
Spencer said the $200 million figure made “Reach” the biggest launch of any game or movie this year. “Halo 3” garnered more than $300 million globally in its first week. First-day global sales for “Halo 3” were not available.
The “Halo” franchise has sold more than 34 million copies in its nine-year history, boosting the popularity of Microsoft’s Xbox console.