Halo 2 to make playable debut at Game Stars Live

Doing anything this September?

Gamers attending Game Stars Live this September will be among the first in the world to get their hands on Xbox first-person shooter Halo 2, organisers of the ambitious consumer games show have announced.

Microsoft is laying on enough unit to justify a dedicated Halo 2 area, where gamers will be able to link up and try out the multiplayer aspect - one of the key elements of the highly anticipated FPS, which is expected to provide a major boost for online service Xbox Live when it launches worldwide in November.

Xbox marketing head Stephen McGill believes that the game is also likely to boost the appeal of Game Stars Live with the average punter. "We're sure its attendance will prove to be one of Game Stars Live's busiest draws," he said on Friday, "and we look forward to proving that the relentless hype and enthusiasm from both press and public since its initial announcement is well-founded."

London EventCo event director Kirsty Adams concurred. "This is incredible news for the UK's gamers," she said. "We're delighted Xbox has chosen Game Stars Live to unveil one of the year's biggest releases, and we can't wait to see the reaction of attendees when they finally get their hands on Halo 2 two months before its release."

Up to now only sections of the press and trade have been able to actually play Halo 2, which is in development at the Microsoft-owned Bungie development studio, although various trailers for the game and the regular flow of new screenshots have built up significant interest. The game is due out in the US on November 9th, the UK on November 11th, and on the 10th in certain other sections of Europe.

Game Stars Live will also play host to a number of other key games from companies including Nintendo, Ubisoft, Konami, Acclaim, EA, Activision, Eidos, Atari and Nokia. Amongst the biggest draws should be Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, with other major attractions still to be announced.

Tickets for Game Stars Live are available via the website or phone in advance (details here) for 10, and will cost 12 on the door. The event runs from September 1st to 5th at ExCeL in London's Docklands area.

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