Microsoft corporate VP Peter Moore appears to have underestimated the first-day sales of Halo 2 in North America, which are reported today to have topped $125 million, while retailers in the UK are celebrating a hugely successful midnight launch for the title.

"I'm calling a $100 million day on Halo today," Moore told an investor's conference earlier this week - but new estimates from Microsoft suggest that 2.38 million units have been sold through in North America on the launch day, totalling over $125 million in sales.

That makes Halo 2 into easily the fastest-selling media product ever in the United States, another major victory for the videogames industry which builds on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' recent trouncing of UK videogame and box office records alike.

The launch of Halo 2 in the UK, meanwhile, has proved a huge success - with many stores opening at midnight last night to meet demand from gamers for the hugely anticipated Xbox exclusive title.

"It's been a great night," enthused Alex Croft, buying director for leading UK retail chain GAME. "We opened 120 GAME stores at midnight, and they were full of fans queuing to buy Halo 2. We've been in this industry a long time - and know how important it is to customers that they can buy blockbuster titles like Halo 2 or San Andreas the second they're released."

"When you see thousands of people outside your stores in the middle of the night, you realise what a massive audience our industry now has," he continued. "It's excellent to see so many people getting so excited about new games."

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