Check it out guys, the Halo 3 hype is officially in full effect over the next couple of days. We have been receiving some Halo 3-themed deliveries over the past couple of days. You’ve gotta see the latest. This is a briefcase that arrived with a simple Halo 3 logo on it. We opened it up to find a couple of autographed Halo 3 Xbox 360 controllers, along with the Halo 3 wireless headset. Check out the Halo 3 Briefcase gallery for a closer look at everything, and if you missed it, check out our Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition unboxing gallery as well!
Read More | Opening the Halo 3 Briefcase
We know that plenty of our readers have been waiting anxiously for Halo 3 to drop, and Microsoft just threw us all a bone today with the Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition console. And yes, that is the entire name of the unit. While it won’t satiate your appetite for Halo 3 gaming goodness (that happens in a little over a week,) it really is a sweet looking piece of machinery. We got our hands on one today, and naturally, took a bunch of unboxing images for your viewing pleasure - 41 in total. We give you a look at everything that comes in the box in our Halo 3 Xbox 360 unboxing gallery, but for a quick glance, this is what you get for $399 USD:
- Halo 3 Special Edition Console
- Halo 3 Special Edition Wireless Controller
- Halo 3 Special Edition 20GB Hard Drive
- Halo 3 Special Edition Wired Headset
- Halo 3 Special Edition Gamer Pics and Theme (Exclusive download via Xbox LIVE)
- Component HD AV Cable
- Ethernet Cable
- HDMI Port
- Play & Charge Kit
- Xbox LIVE Silver Membership
- One-month Xbox LIVE Gold Membership
Don’t forget to hit the gallery for all the images.
Read More | Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition Unboxing Gallery
In the midst of all the hype about the Halo 3 launch, one thing that is often overlooked is that not everyone who has a 360 is necessarily equipped to play the game in its entirety. Whether you’re staunchly against paying for an online service like Xbox Live or you just can’t afford it, for a few days at least it won’t matter.
Best Buy is sponsoring a three-day free-for-all granting all Xbox 360 users access to the Gold Service starting on September 25th and ending on the 27th. That means that Silver members get to experience Halo’s online multiplayer without charge for at least a handful of days after they pick up their copy of the game. Even if you’re not into the whole Halo thing, that doesn’t exclude you from taking advantage: Best Buy’s “the first hit is free” style promotion extends to all parts of the service so those without full access to Live could use the time to play some Gears of War online, check out the Call of Duty 4 beta (if it’s still up and running) or just use the time to play some free Uno.
Read More | Bungie.net
Microsoft has known how important Halo 3 will be to their success this generation since before they even announced the Xbox 360. Halo 2 sold $125 million on the first day, but then the original Xbox was just struggling for recognition in the wake of the PS2 juggernaut. Now the 360 holds a tenuous lead in installed base and isn’t selling the way Microsoft may have hoped. If it’s possible Halo 3 may have become even more important to Microsoft’s strategy than they originally hoped. Fortunately, they’ve been planning ahead.
In an article released today on Brand Week, the calculated ten-month marketing efforts behind Bungie‘s trilogy finale is dissected starting from the Starry Nights TV spot launched last November through the public beta this spring/early summer. They talk about the Project Iris viral campaign and the efforts they’ve gone to secure strategic branding partners. This has included the Mountain Dew Game Fuel limited edition soft drink that comes plastered with Halo 3 imagery plus a total of $5 million from Pontiac to help push the launch of the game on September 25.
And they aren’t done yet. Microsoft will begin the full blitz with the new Believe campaign that will lead up to the launch taking place at midnight in over 10,000 stores to give Halo fans a chance to grab the game as soon as possible. It’s an interesting read about the science behind building a monster.
Time Magazine has Halo 3 on their cover this week but the feature inside the magazine, written by Lev Grossman, has raised the hackles on the necks of several game writers. Dan Zuccarelli from Bits, Bytes, Pixels and Sprites takes Grossman to task for what he feels is an ill-researched piece. It’s not hard to see where Zuccarelli is coming from. In the third paragraph the Time article calls Halo 2 an Xbox 360 exclusive and the inset graphic (reprinted on BBPS) shows a fan mod Xbox 360 featuring Halo 3 artwork rather than the actual Halo 3 Special Edition Xbox 360, not to mention mis-labeling the Heroclix Scarab as merely a “sculpture.”
What really has some people frothing though is Grossman’s obvious bias against gamers that seeps from nearly every paragraph as he repeatedly refers to them as antisocial, unhealthy, unpopular and even twice refers to gamers as residing in a ghetto. It’s not clear whether he refers to a literal ghetto or if he’s being metaphorical, but either way it doesn’t seem particularly balanced or neutral in tone.
Any gamer with even an inkling of interest in Halo 3 should head over to Gamersyde right away and check out some of that site’s stunning off-screen campaign footage, a sample of which we have posted above. This video shows off the game’s unique replay feature, which allows you to record and play back entire levels of the single player campaign, as well as multiplayer matches, at your leisure. Players can then use the footage to analyze their enemy’s defenses, exploit weaknesses, and polish their own skills to a Legendary sheen. Note how the Bungie representative in the video uses the feature to check up on the exploits of a group of Marines on the other side of the battlefield! This is awe-inspiring stuff.
Halo 3 hits the Xbox 360 on September 25th, but of course you already knew that.
Read More | Gamersyde
Halo 3 won’t be out until September 25th, but the hype machine is already well in gear. Microsoft has just announced that pre-sale numbers for Bungie‘s upcoming behemoth have already exceeded one million copies. Chris Di Cesare, Microsoft’s director of creative marketing, says, “This September, Halo 3 will push video game entertainment into the forefront of mainstream culture.”
And he’s not kidding. Microsoft is backing up its big gun by way of some big merchandising deals with major brands. For starters, Pepsi is releasing a Halo-branded version of Mountain Dew, called Mountain Dew Game Fuel. 7-11 is getting in on the action with Halo-themed Slurpee cups, as well as a Doritos promotion. Not wanting to be left out in the cold, Burger King will be doing its own in-store promotions, Pontiac is launching a Halo 3- themed contest, and Comcast will offer its subscribers all kinds of downloadable Halo goodies. Phew! A marketing campaign of this depth and scope is truly unprecedented in the gaming industry.
Read More | Next Generation
As we reported last week the Xbox 360 will be seeing a price drop for each of its three SKUs. The Core model will drop $20 from $299.99 to $279.99, the Premium will drop $50 from $399.99 to $349.99, and the Elite will drop $30 from $479.99 to $449.99. I stand by my statement that this price drop makes little to no sense, because the cost of a Core system plus a 512MB memory card is only $20 less than the Premium now costs.
In related news, the Halo 3 edition Xbox 360’s pricing has finally been revealed to be $399.99. Keep in mind it has a 20GB hard drive, which is what comes with the Premium SKU. The Elite has a 120GB hard drive, which can also be purchased a standalone drive for the steep price of $179.99.
Bear in mind, these price drops don’t go into effect until tomorrow, Wednesday, August 8, and only in the US.
Originally scheduled for a September release, Blacksite: Area 51 has been pushed back until November 5. The announcement was made during a Midway conference call, where the European release date was revealed to be October 26.The game is set for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
This is a smart move be Midway, as Blacksite would otherwise be competing more directly with Halo 3, and by releasing in November, they also manage to space the title away from heavy-hitter Grand Theft Auto IV.
UPDATE: For all of you Negative Nancys out there, the news has been made official on Bungie.net. Head over there for details on the two Elites players three and four will take the role of (pictured above).
ORIGINAL STORY: While the news has yet to make it onto Bungie.net, a post made on the NeoGAF forums a short while ago posted a translation from Dutch website Inside Gamer stating that Halo 3 would support 4-player co-op. While the wording was difficult to understand (and initially looked like it might only be confirming 4-player split-screen co-op), Bungie’s Luke Smith has given this the thumbs up with a single word: “Believe.”
He later in the thread stated that news about this would make its way onto the official Bungie website later today, but this is huge news for Halo fans who were told that Halo 3 wouldn’t even be supporting online co-op.
As a huge Halo fan, I’m absolutely ecstatic over this. Online co-op in any form would have been fantastic. But FOUR players? That’s ridiculously awesome. I just wonder who the third and fourth players will play the role of.
Read More | NeoGAF