The release of "Halo 2" is met with long lines. The enormous popularity of the latest version of the Xbox game could cost businesses in lost productivity.
NEW YORKCough. Cough. The "Halo Flu" may be striking businesses today. Thats because the long-awaited Version 2 of "Halo" went on sale at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday at 6,500 stores around the United States.
"Halo: Combat Evolved" was the launch title that
some argue saved Microsoft Corp.s Xbox game console. Bungie originally unveiled "Halo" in 1999 at Macworld to
enormous buzz, but what garnered even more press and fan attention was
when Microsoft scooped up the independent developer in 2000. "Halo" had been
set to debut on the Mac, but now its developers were joining what many
of their fans considered the Dark Sideand "Halo" was going to debut
exclusively on the Xbox.
The Xbox and its killer launch title went on sale Nov. 15,
2001, and within four months "Halo" had sold more than 1 million units,
making it what Microsoft called "the fastest million-unit seller ever for any
next-generation console." That is, until "Halo 2."
Click here for PC Magazines "Halo 2" slideshow.
Despite a code leak in mid-October and one store chain in the Midwest
breaking the retail datea quick search on eBay before "Halo 2" went on
sale turned up several supposed copies of "Halo 2" and "Halo 2 Limited
Collectors Edition""Halo 2" is poised to break all video game records. With such a demand for the game, will it affect employee productivity?
According to one Microsoft developer/blogger
, it might even affect Microsoft employees.
"Xbox Live is disabled on the corporate network, but assuming it works
like the original Halo, System Link games will work between conference
rooms so long as they are on the same subnet. As many of the
conference rooms sport nice big projectors, I predict the Master
Chiefs image will be burned into a few of those by late-November, and
a few developers will have improved physiques gained by carrying
Xboxes to and from work on a regular basis," the blogger wrote.
Early Tuesday morning, at Toys R Us in Times Square here people lined up around the block, from 45th Street, around the corner and down Broadway to 44th Street, in hopes of getting their hands on the latest version of "Halo." The empty MTV
Studios across the street looked depressing compared with the
commotion of fans, street teams handing out free Mountain Dew soda and
other goodies, and of course the normal foot traffic of Times Square.
One family of three from Trenton, N.J., had been in line since about 8 p.m. Despite being huge "Halo" fans who had played the original together, the family insisted no school or work would be missed to play "Halo 2."
A 22-year-old sanitation worker who had been in line since 2 p.m. was thankful he had the next day off. He said hes played the original "Halo" every day since it came out and finished
it about eight times. After finishing the Xbox version, he played and
finished the PC version as well. He said he would "stay up
all night [tonight playing] until I black out."
Fans show their loyalty.