MS: Halo: Reach will outsell COD: Black Ops

"We have huge expectations."

Microsoft honestly believes that Halo: Reach will outsell Call of Duty: Black Ops this autumn.

"It's going to be a really good fight and yes I do [believe it]," Stephen McGill, Xbox UK boss, told Eurogamer at a Halo: Reach celebrity launch event last night. "We have huge expectations."

"More than 34 million people have bought [a Halo game] and those people are going to want to play Halo: Reach. We're going to do incredibly well."

"Halo was the stand-out title when we launched Xbox ten years ago," he added. "It was the title that made FPS on consoles an accessible, fun, life-changing experience."

The Halo: Reach review embargo lifts early on Sunday morning, and McGill expects "very good, very high, glowing reviews". He's seen "a few" magazine scores already and was apparently "very happy".

McGill was also confident about the future of Halo beyond Reach and beyond Bungie, claiming that the series is "in very good hands" and that there are "great plans" for it.

Last night's event featured a live Halo: Reach showdown between celebrities and gamers. The team of stars - footballer Rio Ferdinand, Gadget Show presenter Jason Bradbury, rugby player Ben Cohen, recording artist Mr Hudson and TV presenter Jameela Jamil - was, in McGill's words, "completely trounced".

Radio 1's DJ Reggie Yates hosted the match and branded Rio Ferdinand "officially rubbish at Halo".

Ordinary gamer Robert Daniel Brown was on the winning team. He told Eurogamer he'd had "the greatest night of my life", and put the victory down to "good teamwork and communication". "We totally thrashed the opposition," he said. His top tip for Halo: Reach multiplayer: "Use the Battle Rifle; it's the only gun that all of the professionals use."

Halo: Reach launches on Tuesday, 14th September.

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