Monday, November 08, 2004

Halo 2

If there are any doubts in your mind as to the dimensions of Halo 2, if 1.5 million pre-orders and 7,000 retail locations having midnight release events haven't convinced you, consider this: a story about the video game is on the front page of the Dallas Morning News, a conservative publication that would be far more comfortable if the calendar read 1958 and we were all smoking pipes.

The article is titled Anticipation, 'Halo' be thy name. See, that's supposed to be clever because...oh, never mind. It really isn't that clever.

Here's the reason that national newspapers have to put these stories on the front page: it appears that first day for Halo 2 might exceed $100 million, which would make it the largest one-day entertainment 'event' in history, far exceeding any film or music album.

What this game has also done is driven home the fact that Microsoft has done very well for itself in the console wars. I know, the console division still isn't making money, they've executed poorly in Japan, their team sports line was so poor that it spontaneously combusted, blah blah blah. Yet they've still sold a huge number of consoles, the quality of the games has consistently increased, and with Halo 2 they're suddenly the biggest thing going. The PS2 is an emphysemic casualty, wheeling an oxygen cannister around as it desperately tries to suck down some fresh air.

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