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9/27/2007
06:19 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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Halo 3 Record Launch Seen Through Gamers' Eyes

Unless you're living under a virtual rock, you know that Microsoft's new Halo 3 game for Xbox 360 is smashing all previous sales records, pulling in $170 million on its first day. But if you're like me -- older than 14 -- you're curious as to what all the fuss is about, but have no interest in buying the thing. OK, then let's go to the videotape... .

Unless you're living under a virtual rock, you know that Microsoft's new Halo 3 game for Xbox 360 is smashing all previous sales records, pulling in $170 million on its first day. But if you're like me -- older than 14 -- you're curious as to what all the fuss is about, but have no interest in buying the thing. OK, then let's go to the videotape... .Here's an interesting video of the Halo 3 launch event in Los Angeles. It's done by something called the Jet Show, which is a Web-based pop culture show dangerously reminiscent of Entertainment Tonight.

Video games present an interesting paradox, technologically speaking. On the one hand, the games themselves are aimed at the young and callow. (True, there's that whole eye-hand coordination angle, and the fact that games can be used to train fighter pilots, but you get what I'm saying.)

However, the stringent technical demands of realistic gaming -- for example, near real-time response and intensely realistic graphics -- have pushed the PC platform way ahead of where it would otherwise be if, say, hot spreadsheets were the toughest app out there.

Most recently, Sony's PlayStation 3 has given a big boost to high-definition DVDs, by its incorporation of a Blu-ray player within the console.

At my house, the DVD drive in my son's PS2 has done yeoman duty when it's been pressed into service to play movies rented from Blockbuster. The PlayStation has taken a licking and kept on ticking, whereas a bunch of fragile sub-$100 consumer DVD players, from JVC, Zenith, and Toshiba, have sadly died an early death.

Back to Halo 3. I asked my nine-year-old son to explain it to me. "It's a killing game, Dad," he summed up. That's apparently the long and the short of it. Fortunately, Halo 3 is less Grand Theft Auto than combat comes to outer space, and the dead are aliens. Let's take a look:

Here's the two-minute Halo 3 trailer from the E3 gaming show.


Here's a vid which gives a realistic sense of what it's like to play Halo 3.


But the award for funniest Halo 3 video goes to this mock commercial for the game. (Well, it's not funny as in good comedy funny, it's funny the way a video-game spoof can be funny.)

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