For most stores, this morning marks the first official day
that Halo 3 may be sold to the
consumer. To serve the rabid Halo
fan, however, several select gaming chains and big box retailers held midnight launch events.
While midnight launches and long queues are now the norm for
console hardware launches, it is only the very exceptionally anticipated title
that would warrant such an event and the consumers to support it. Prior to Halo
3, the last game to
receive such a welcome was the Burning
Crusade expansion to the incomprehensibly World of Warcraft.
At a local Best Buy, gamers were lined up outside the store hours
before midnight, though store workers told DailyTech
that none had camped out overnight. The store worker wasn’t concerned about being
short on supply, despite the high demand, as the store had around 1,500 copies
across the three SKUs in the inventory.
As midnight neared, the queue outside the store grew around
the city block, extending to as many as 300 people. Local television news crews
were on location to cover the launch event and to interview several of the
customers waiting in line.
Upon the store’s opening just after the jump to September 25,
customers were ushered into the store in small groups to purchase Halo 3. As
DailyTech reported earlier, a significant percentage of Halo 3 Limited Edition
collector’s tins have shipped
with scratched discs inside. The damaged discs are caused by an inadequate center
hub that is unable to hold the discs securely in place.
Interestingly, the staff at Best Buy were well aware of the
issue surrounding scratched discs, and have supposedly tested each of the boxes
by shaking and listening for loose materials. Only the boxes that were free of
sounds of loose discs were sold to customers.
The mainstream newswires are already comparing the day one
launch revenues to the opening days of blockbuster movies series such as Spider-Man and Harry Potter. Many are expecting Halo 3’s launch to surpass Hollywood’s
biggest, but mostly due to Halo 3’s
higher average selling price compared to a box office ticket.