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Halo 2: 4 billion games played

Plus: new Halo trilogy theme.

It may only have managed to do about US$ 125 million in first-day sales on its way to selling north of 7.4 million units, but at least Halo 2 has been partly successful - with Bungie revealing that the number of online games played has skyrocketed.

In fact, as of 30th October, over four billion games of Halo 2 have been played on Xbox Live. Impressive enough on its own, but even more so when you consider that just five months ago the developer was celebrating a puny 500 million games played.

Not only that, but Halo 2 is "close to hitting the four million unique players mark", says Bungie. To celebrate, they've cooked up a graph showing you what's popular, with Team Slayer carving out 17.31 percent of that four billion, and Team SWAT followingly closely behind with 16.76 percent. (Team SWAT might find it more depressing if we pointed out that's around 22 million games behind, though - you'll never amount to anything, Team SWAT!)

Halo 2 has consistently been the most popular multiplayer game on Xbox 360, despite having launched way back in November 2004 on the previous machine. It's due out for Windows PC fairly soon.

Meanwhile, in other Halo-related news, Microsoft has thrown a Halo Trilogy theme up onto Live Marketplace. This actually comes free with the new Halo 3 Xbox 360 faceplate, but for those of you unable to buy that, the theme costs 150 Microsoft (GBP 1.28 / EUR 1.74) points when sold separately.