Speaking at the Harris Nesbitt Playtime 2004 Investor Conference, held yesterday in New York City, Microsoft's corporate vice president of retail sales and marketing, Peter Moore, boasted to attendees about the projected sales figures for their biggest release of the year, the feverishly anticipated Halo 2 - sequel to the critically and commercially acclaimed Xbox launch title, Halo.

According to financial website Reuters, Moore proclaimed, "I'm calling a $100 million day on Halo today". These ambitious claims were backed up by none other than Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, who announced at a Microsoft shareholders meeting, held on the same day, that "in the first 24 hours we'll have an opening that's [more] popular than any motion picture has ever had in history."

Optimistic though these claims may seem, Jeff Griffiths, the CEO of major US retailer EB Games, has gone some way to corroborate Microsoft's estimates, saying "We think that this will be the biggest launch in the history of EB, perhaps the biggest launch in the history of video games". If it all turns out to be true, then Halo 2 will have been the single biggest opening day in any entertainment medium in US history - something which will be made all the more formidable when you consider the relatively low installed user base the Xbox has, especially compared to Sony's PlayStation 2.

Projections for the lifetime sales of the title are similarly imposing, with Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter telling Reuters this week, "I'd say 60 per cent penetration on the console is a good number, so you're looking at 10 million copies worldwide."

We'll be keeping a close eye on these sales figures, so keep those browsers pointed at Pro-G!

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