Santa Monica (CA) – Expectations are running high for the launch of Halo 3 in September – and Microsoft will be supporting the launch of the game, which the company believes has the same impact on entertainment as did Star Wars 30 years ago, with a special edition Xbox 360 console.
The Halo 3 Xbox will be painted in - you guessed it – Halo colors: Spartan green and gold. The package will also include a matching wireless controller and headset, a component HD cable, an Ethernet cable, HDMI port, a play and charge kit, a 20 GB hard drive, a membership for Xbox Live Silver as well as a one-month membership to Xbox Live Gold. Strangely, the game itself is not included with the Halo 3 Xbox.
Pricing of the special edition console has not been announced.
Halo 3 is the central piece in Microsoft’s game title lineup for the second half of the year, which the company hopes will rake in more money than music sales for the first time in history. Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the firm’ s Interactive Entertainment Business and Entertainment and Devices Division, expects Halo 3 to become a $1 billion franchise by the end of the year and described the new series as “epic work of gaming fiction” that in his mind has the same impact on the entertainment industry as did the Star Wars movies 30 years ago.
During his keynote late Tuesday, Moore said that Halo 3, together with EA sports titles and Grand Theft Auto 4, would create a “perfect storm of gaming franchises” for gaming sales during the holiday season this year: “These titles have the potential to drive a third of all new game sales in the second half of this year (…) and the industry to record growth.” According to Moore, the trio - which in a similar lineup was responsible for record sales in 2004 - will guarantee Microsoft’s success with the Xbox this year: “The Xbox 360 is the only console on which all three games will be available,” he said.