Microsoft's 'Halo 3' Breaks First-Day Sales Records

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Microsoft Corp.'s alien-killer gaming thrill, "Halo 3," has broken the U.S. sales record for a new video game by garnering an estimated US$170 million in its first 24-hours on sale, the company said late Wednesday.

The performance beat the previous record setter, predecessor Halo 2, which raked in $125 million within 24-hours after its launch.

That's not all. Halo 3 has beaten other records as well. More than 1.7 million copies of Halo 3 were pre-ordered in the U.S., making it the fastest pre-selling game in U.S. history, Microsoft said. The game also drew over a million Xbox Live members to play online in the first 20-hours on offer, making it the biggest day for Xbox Live gaming in history.

The video game industry has enjoyed sizzling sales this summer in the U.S, according to the industry researcher, NDP Group. In August, video game software sales rose nearly 23 percent year over year to $488 million, while overall industry sales totaled $993 million, including consoles and other hardware.

Sales figures for Halo 3 were collected for the U.S. only, and the figure will likely stand much higher after Microsoft tallies results from overseas. Halo 3 launched in 37 countries at midnight on Sept. 25 and is available in 17 languages. It retails for around $60.

The title could go on to become one of the top international sellers of all time, but it faces stiff competition. The top selling console game of all time, not originally bundled with a console, is Pokemon Red, Blue and Green, at 20.08 million units, according to figures compiled from the Web site Magic Box's Japan Platinum Game Chart and its U.S. Platinum Videogame Chart..

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