Melbourne Cup…I mean Halo 4 day in Australia

Halo 4 Box Shot
Master Chief is back!

The day that stops the nation, that’s what they say about Melbourne Cup Day here in Australia. Well I’m sure they do. But today a load of folks  at home and not to watch a load of old nags, ‘cos it was was also Halo 4 Day.

And for a lot of gamers, last night was a bit of a late one.

At one minute past midnight on the 6th November gamers across Australia were among the first people in the world (behind the Kiwis, of course) to get their hands on Master Chief’s latest outing. In Australia over 250 EB Games and JB Hifi stores remained open until the early hours so that fans could get their hands on Halo 4.

Niall “UndueBasher647” Frew, was one of hundreds of people who attended EB Games in Campbelltown last night to count down to midnight and was the first Australian to purchase Halo 4. Commenting on the experience, he said: “Halo has been my whole life, I feel fantastic! I have been waiting to play Halo 4 for a long time.”

Halo 4 fans
Fans get a first go at the EB Games Campbelltown Halo 4 launch!

The blockbuster Halo franchise is Microsoft’s flagship Xbox series. First appearing on the original Xbox way back in 2001, there have been seven previously released Halo games (including the real-time-stratagy, Halo Wars and last years Halo Anniversaryremake). But we it has been five years since we last followed the exploits of the series protagonist, Master Chief John 117, who we last saw adrift in a crippled battleship obiting a mysterious planet.

Marine and Cortana
Cardboard box marine and “Cortana” at the Campbelltown Halo 4 launch

To celebrate the launch of Halo 4, Microsoft are running a “Capture the Poster, real-world scavenger hunt for the Xbox online community to claim a rare, signed artwork, used as billboards in the Halo 4 outdoor advertising campaign. It’s the first time in Australia that people have the chance to win billboard advertisements. There will be 400 Australian-exclusive posters signed by Josh Holmes, Creative Director of Halo 4at 343 Industries, scattered around Sydney and Melbourne for people to claim.

master chief
The last Spartan!

Xbox Australia Facebook fans will be granted exclusive access to a real-time map revealing the location of claimed posters and clues to those that are still available to aid their hunt.

“These posters are rare and will be in high demand – it will be interesting to see what lengths people will go to be the first to claim their poster and just how quickly they go!” said Kimberley.

Australian fans can ‘like’ the Xbox Australia Facebook page to be part of the scavenger hunt by going here.

Impressive fun facts about the Halo franchise, as supplied by Microsoft Australia:

  • The Halo franchise has surpassed $3 billion
  • More than 46 million Halo games have been sold worldwide
  • More than 5 billion hours of Halo gameplay have been logged by players while connected to Xbox LIVE.
  • Players have accumulated more than 235,182 years in Halo playtime.
  • The collective time players spent playing Halo is more than that required to travel across the Milky Way galaxy and back at the speed of light.
  • Halo 3 (2007) became the biggest entertainment launch in history by generating $170 million in 24 hours in the U.S., surpassing the $125 million day-one record set by Halo 2 (2004).
  • Halo: Reach (2010) generated more than $200 million in the U.S. and Europe in 24 hours, eclipsing all previous entertainment launches in 2010.
  • More than 9 million copies of the Halo series of books, comics and strategy guides have been sold. Nine of the 11 novels are New York Times bestsellers
  • Halo 4 has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012, according to Metacritic.
  • Since the launch of Halo 3, players have generated more than 120 million pieces of user-generated content from within the game.
  • Over 7.5 million Halo action figures have sold since 2005

Halo 4 is out now on Xbox 360. The standard edition is available for AUD $89.95RRP, and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, is available for AUD $129.95RRP.