Wired predicts a surge in sick-days today as gamers who picked up some of the 4 million preordered copies of Halo 3: Believe when it went on sale at midnight skip work after all-night sessions. Crowds at the Manhattan release party—one of 10,000 nationwide—held up traffic for blocks; real versions of the game's virtual vehicles were on hand, as were some characters.
Billed as the biggest video game launch ever, the third installment of Microsoft's "Halo" series is expected to bring in $150 million—in the first 24 hours. The game "is like our Woodstock," explained one eager customer, as he enjoyed a preparatory arm massage while waiting in line. Similar launch parties were banned in London due to fears of mob scenes.