On the same day the Halo 3 beta arrives (about two hours from now, actually), Microsoft has announced the official release date of Halo 3. On September 25 of this year, the “final chapter” of the Halo trilogy arrives in stores. The press release also mentions the Halo Zune, which will arrive next month pre-loaded with Halo videos, soundtrack music, trailers, ads (?) and artwork.
Microsoft’s got big shoes to fill. Halo 2 brought with it a $125 million opening day, the largest opening day of any entertainment product in history (yes, bigger than Spider-man 3). No one believes Halo 3 can beat that (2.5 million sales in a single day on a console with just over 10 million units is tough), but Microsoft did one thing real smart: the third quarter ends on September 30. That means first week Halo sales with give a huge boost to third quarter sales, while holiday sales will still knock up fourth quarter numbers a good amount. Hopefully, it’ll sell a ton of new Xbox 360 consoles, too.