I'm going to call it right here: the "blockbuster prequel" Halo: Reach is going to be a huge commercial success when the game launches worldwide on September 14, 2010. Surprising, I know.
Described as "record breaking," this month's beta test over Xbox Live gave players a taste of what they will see when the game finally hits stores later this year. More than 2.7 million players participated, making it the largest recorded console game beta test -- more than triple the size of the Halo 3 beta. Players logged over 16 million hours of online gameplay over the course of 13 million+ online games, amounting to over 1,826 years of total play time in just over a two-week period.
“Halo: Reach is the culmination of a decade of Halo, a franchise that has become a global entertainment and pop-culture touchstone,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios at Microsoft Corp. “Just as Halo: Combat Evolved catalyzed the success of the original Xbox to define a decade of entertainment, Halo: Reach will push the boundaries for what’s possible in video games and help make 2010 the biggest year in Xbox history.”
I have never been the biggest fan of the Halo games, but I'm still inclined to agree. I suppose we'll see just how everything turns out when the game finally launches later this year.
Halo: Reach, like its predecessors, will come in standard, limited, and legendary editions and is available for pre-order now. The editions will retail for $59.99, $79.99, and $149.99, respectively. The limited edition contains a recovered ONI "black box" case, exclusive Elite armor, and an "artifact bag" containing Dr. Halsey’s personal journal and other classified documents and effects that unravel long held secrets from the “Halo” universe. The legendary edition will contain everything the limited edition offers in addition to a 10-inch-tall, hand-painted Noble Team statue and an exclusive, in-game, flaming Spartan helmet.