The Countdown is On - Gamers Prepare for Halo 3 Release on September 25th
The world is only one week away from the launch of “Halo 3,” the most highly-anticipated game of all time and biggest entertainment event in history. Fans everywhere are eagerly gearing up for battle. Plans are being made for vacation or “sick days” so gamers can score a copy of the game as it hits store shelves and pre-orders for Legendary and Limited edition versions of “Halo 3” are skyrocketing and are expected to sell out before launch.

In preparation for the launch of “Halo 3,” which is expected to shatter day-one entertainment sales records when it is released worldwide beginning Sept. 25, fans in the United States are cordially invited to partake in “Unite to Fight Week,” which will include a bounty of “Halo”-related activities such as midnight madness events, promotional activities, a variety of Xbox LIVE opportunities and contests sure to excite fans and make the entire week of “Halo 3’s” launch a historical experience.

“Unite to Fight: Halo 3 Launch Week” will consist of the below activities. Be sure to check out www.xbox.com/unitetofight for updates and more information!

· Midnight Madness: An unprecedented number – more than 10,000 retailers in the United States alone – will be opening their doors at midnight on September 25 to usher in the biggest day in entertainment history. Fans will be invited to participate in a variety of activities at local retailers to countdown to “Halo 3’s” launch. Major regional events will be held in select locations including New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles and Miami. Those who make the trek to be a part of the countdown could score free merchandise and get a chance to play “Halo 3” with local celebrities in on-site Game with Fame sessions! Regional event locations include:
o New York City – Best Buy, 529 5th Ave, New York, NY, 10017*
o Seattle – Best Buy, 457 120th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98005
o Los Angeles – Gamestop, 1000 Universal Studios Blvd, Universal City, CA 91608
o Miami – Circuit City, 8575 Northwest 13th Terrace, Miami, FL 33126

· First to Own: Pontiac is teaming up with Microsoft to provide 1,000 lucky winners a copy of “Halo 3” before it’s available in stores with their “First to Own” promotion. Gamers can log onto http://www.pontiac.com/halo3 now for a chance to win!

· NASCAR and Master Chief: All eyes will be on Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates as David Stremme drives the No. 40 Target/”Halo 3” inspired race car at the NASCAR Dover 400 on September 23rd. Select NASCAR drivers will have a chance to test drive Halo 3 prior to the race during a private event.

· Only on Xbox LIVE: “Halo 3” features an online experience unmatched by any other game. For the first time, gamers can play the “Halo 3” campaign cooperatively in the same location or over Xbox LIVE with up to three friends. They can also take advantage of “Halo 3’s” unprecedented user-created content features to create, upload, share and enjoy their own game movies, map variants, screenshots and more. “Halo 3” also provides a unique multiplayer matchmaking mode which will intelligently pair gamers of like skill and experience to ensure fun, balanced gaming with others over Xbox LIVE. Starting Sept. 25, gamers will be rewarded both with “Halo 3’s” incredibly rich new Xbox LIVE features as well as a series of opportunities to play and win during “Unite to Fight” week:

o Best Buy Presents Three Days Free on Xbox LIVE: Best Buy is helping fuel the largest gaming day in console history by making Xbox LIVE Gold free for everyone during the first three days of “Halo 3” availability. September 25 through September 27, everyone with an Xbox 360 and a broadband connection can be an Xbox LIVE Gold member and experience the full benefits of the “Halo 3” online experience.

o Xbox LIVE and Best Buy Play & Win Sweepstakes: 8,000 Microsoft Points will be given away during the free Xbox LIVE period to a total of 144 randomly selected people. Those first prize winners will then be entered for a chance to win one of two grand prizes, which include a “Halo” themed Pontiac G6 GXP Street Edition (ARV $28,000) and a Samsung home theater entertainment system (ARV $3,499.97). To enter the sweepstakes, consumers can register and then play “Halo 3” over Xbox Live (or follow free mail-in entry instructions).

o Halo 3 Game with Fame: To celebrate “Halo 3’s” launch, Game with Fame sessions will take place during the first week of launch, pitting gamers against their favorite actors, bands, and sports stars over Xbox LIVE.

o Game with Bungie: The development team behind “Halo 3” will be glued to Xbox LIVE the week of launch, giving gamers a chance not only to play with the talent behind the game of the year, but also to learn the strategies of the pros who know all the ins and outs.

o Exclusive Marketplace Content: For Xbox LIVE Gold members, “Halo 3” will be making a trip to their dashboard with a new Xbox 360 “Halo 3” theme as well as a Gamerpic, only available “Unite to Fight” week.

o Unite to Fight: Play & Win: Gamers can register their Gamertag at http://www.xbox.com/unitetofight starting September 11 and then play “Halo 3” between September 28 and September 30 to enter the sweepstakes. Prizes will be randomly drawn and will include “Halo” accessory packs, Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition Consoles, Halo 3 Edition Zunes, Microsoft Points, and the Halo Graphic Novel.


More information on launch events, promotions and merchandise for “Halo 3” will be shared in the coming weeks. Additional information on “Halo 3” and related promotions can also be found at www.halo3.com.
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Game: Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
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