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10:22 AM

Halo Reach Arrives Tuesday

Prequel to bestselling Xbox 360 action game scheduled to hit U.S. stores on Sept. 14.

Halo fans won't have to wait much longer to get their hands on the next installment of the game—the newest addition to the blockbuster series, Halo Reach, hits stores Sept. 14.

Halo Reach comes in three flavors—the $59.99 basic version, the $79.99 Limited Edition, and a "Legendary" edition, which includes 10-inch McFarlane statues of the game's main characters, that's priced at $149.99.

Based on Amazon pre-sales, Halo Reach will be a cash cow for producer Bungie and publisher Microsoft. The basic, Limited, and Legendary editions currently occupy the first, second, and third positions respectively in Amazon's list of top-selling video games. Fourth on the list is the Xbox 360 Halo Reach bundle, which includes a 250 GB console and a copy of the basic edition of the game. It's priced at $399.

Halo Reach, an Xbox 360 exclusive, is billed as a prequel to the original game. "Halo Reach follows the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers as they make their final stand on planet Reach, humanity's last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth," according to Microsoft.

The game features a new graphics engine that offers enhanced visuals over its predecessors, Microsoft said. Some gamers apparently can't wait for it to arrive.

Pirated versions have reportedly shown up on dodgy file sharing sites like Pirate Bay. Players who download an illegal copy face a permanent ban from the Xbox Live multiplayer service if they're caught, a Microsoft official recently warned.

"As with all unauthorized play on Xbox Live, anyone playing an unauthorized title runs the risk of account permaban," said Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, in a message posted last month on Twitter.

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