# Press Release #
Halo 2 invasion causes midnight madness frenzy
Long lines of clamoring fans? Check. Thousands of stores open at midnight? Check. Genetically enhanced super soldiers? Check. The entertainment industry is bracing for a big night tonight as thousands of fans around the globe finally get their hands on one of the most highly anticipated games of the year: "Halo® 2," available exclusively on Microsoft® Xbox®. Gamers, celebrities, adrenaline junkies and industry paparazzi worldwide will converge at hundreds of lively launch soirees and thousands of retail outlets when the game officially goes on sale just after midnight.
In New York, Toys "R" Us Times Square will be the epicenter of "Halo 2" activities in the United States. Legions of dedicated fans are expected to line the streets waiting for the chance to be among the first to own the coveted game. Across every time zone, more than 7,000 retailers are also planning "midnight madness" events. A complete list of retail outlets opening at 12:01 a.m. can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/halo2/storelocator.htm.
The Nov. 9 launch will extend beyond U.S. borders with retail events and parties in Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan as well as throughout Latin America and Down Under in Australia and New Zealand. On Nov. 10, the launch will roll out in movie-premiere-style red carpet celebrations in Belgium, France and Switzerland, followed by a Nov. 11 release in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. "Halo 2" will be available in eight languages (traditional Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish) and will be distributed in 27 countries.
"With more than 1.5 million copies already preordered, day-one sales of 'Halo 2' look to herald the biggest 24 hours in entertainment retail history," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of worldwide publishing and marketing for Xbox at Microsoft Corp. "By the end of this week the world will be playing 'Halo 2' - and with our Xbox Live TM online service, fans will literally be banding together across the globe to fend off Covenant invaders."
Made exclusively for Xbox, "Halo 2" will be sold for $49.99.* While supplies last, a limited edition two-DVD set that includes the game and bonus content such as "making of" footage, deleted scenes and commentary from the development team will be sold for $54.99.* Copies of the game can be purchased at retailers Toys "R" Us, GameStop, Electronic Boutique, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Circuit City, to name a few.
The highly anticipated sequel to the award-winning "Halo: Combat Evolved," "Halo 2" picks up where the action in the first game ended. Heavily-armored super-soldier Master Chief, with the help of a small group of Marines, has destroyed the religious artifact and artificial world known as Halo, and is making his way back to Earth. There, he and the last surviving Earth forces will mount a titanic final struggle against the marauding Covenant armada.
Exploiting the superior graphics capabilities of the Xbox console, "Halo 2" will expand on everything that made the original game great, plus add a wealth of technological and game-play advances. For example, playing on Xbox Live, gamers can engage with or against friends from around the world in an effort to save humankind.
Developed exclusively for Xbox by Bungie Studios, part of Microsoft Game Studios, the original "Halo: Combat Evolved" has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide and spawned a legion of devotees who frequently participate in competitions, tournaments and game nights.