Halo 3 breaking sales records

Baker and Akabusi close in.

UK shops have said copies of Halo 3 are selling faster than lovely hot cakes, with Woolworths praising "record breaking" sales, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Numerous retailers around the country looked to capitalise on its popularity by opening at midnight or early this morning, and some are suggesting the game may even beat day one sales for the biggest DVD or CD releases.

"Halo 3 has been flying off the shelves this morning," said Gerry Berkley, trading manager for games at Woolworths.

"In the first two hours that our stores were open it sold thousands and thousands of copies, breaking all previous first morning sales records for a computer game.

"If sales continue at this rapid pace, it could end up being the biggest ever first day sales number for an entertainment product, beating any CD, DVD or book that has gone before it," he revealed.

Specialist shop Gamestation also saw a successful launch, as it opened over 190 stores at midnight throughout the UK, and provided a link-up for customers in two different cities to play against each other.

"Our midnight openings were a great success. Big crowds showed up with customers and staff alike in great spirits," offered Jenny Leach, senior product manager for Gamestation.

"The live link-up between our Birmingham flagship and Edinburgh stores added another exciting new dimension to the launch, providing extra entertainment during the lead up to midnight."

Don McCabe, managing director of Chips, said that some stores were close to selling out already, and he expected to be ordering more before the weekend.

"It's gone very, very well indeed," he said.

"In hindsight I wish we'd ordered more. Quite a few shops are heading for a sell-out by the end of the day and we'll be restocking for the weekend.

"Microsoft and (distributor) Gem have done a very good job, they deserve praise for keeping the supply lines strong and giving us everything we've asked for," he added.

Following a successful launch in the US, Microsoft treated a select audience of UK gamers to a special red carpet screening of Halo 3 last night at London's iMAX cinema. Pop into our launch night coverage to see what Ellie thought of the event.

If fiction was a record, GamesIndustry.biz would have broken it many times over, each time reassembling it as solid news fact.

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