It has nowhere near the fanfare that Halo 3's launch did, but today's release of Halo: Reach is leaps and bounds more important, as the final installment of the series before the game's developer breaks its ties with Microsoft.
The game is still expected to sell like gangbusters, likely generating hundreds of millions of dollars for Microsoft and developer Bungie by the end of the day. In fact, Microsoft expects it to sell even more than Halo 3.
However, we didn't see live midnight launch TV coverage, a media blitzkrieg, and gamers across the country waiting more than 24 hours to pick it up. Or, at least not to the extent Halo 3 did. That still stands as the highest money earning entertainment product launch ever in the US.
But of course, there is excruciating attention placed on Reach. It marks the end of the Halo series as we know it. Long-time Microsoft second-party developer Bungie has broken its Xbox ties and now plans to develop games for all platforms.
Microsoft has plans to spend more money in marketing Reach than it has ever spent on a single game before. It predicts a total revenue from Reach sales of more than $600 million.