Microsoft today unleashed the latest game title in the blockbuster Halo series, kicking off the holiday 2010 selling season. Halo: Reach, a prequel to the other games in the Halo series, is available exclusively on the Xbox 360 video game console and could become the best-selling game of the year if early returns are any indication. At the very least, this should be a huge month for both Microsoft and the wider video game market.
Halo: Reach follows Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo Wars, and Halo 3 ODST as the sixth title in the Halo series, though Halo diehards consider Halo 3 and ODST part of the same game and Halo Wars something else entirely. (Halo Wars was a strategy game, not a traditional shooter like the other Halo titles. It takes place at the start of humankind's war with the alien Covenant, the events of which unfolded during the other Halo titles.)
Microsoft has sold approximately 35 million Halo titles since the initial game appeared in 2001, a fantastic run that's only been matched by a handful of other game franchises. But Halo's original designers, Bungie, have left Microsoft. So Halo: Reach is the last Halo title designed by Bungie, though Microsoft says it will continue the franchise with other teams in the future.
With over 42 million Xbox 360s sold and over 25 million people on Xbox Live, Halo: Reach is set up for a fantastic run. And over 2.7 million people participated in a public beta of the game's multiplayer mode earlier this year, suggesting that interest in Halo remains solid.
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