Analyst: 4.2M Halo 3s already at retail

Goldman Sachs analysts project a massive launch for Bungie Studios' first-person shooter that should push Microsoft's Xbox division into "slight profitability."


Halo 3 launches this week, and it doesn't take a financial analyst to tell you it's going to be big. However, a financial analyst could be helpful if you want to know exactly how big the game's launch will be.

In a company update on Microsoft today, Goldman Sachs analysts Sarah Friar and Frederick Grieb predicted that Microsoft will have shipped a mighty 4.2 million copies of Halo 3 into the retail channel by the end of the month. That's a big-enough launch shipment for more than a third of the Xbox 360's 11.6 million global user base to pick up a copy.

Those raw numbers don't measure up to those posted by the launch of Halo 2, the analysts said, but there were a number of reasons for the prior game to have a stronger launch. For one thing, the original Xbox had a larger installed user base of almost 20 million when Halo 2 came out in November of 2004. Halo 2 sold nearly 2.4 million copies on its first day on the market, and Friar and Grieb estimate that Microsoft had shipped 7.5 million copies by the end of the year, which would have accounted for 38 percent of the installed user base.

The first quarter of Microsoft's fiscal year ends just five days after Halo 3's launch, and Friar and Grieb said the game will contribute about $170 million in revenue to the company's entertainment and devices division, which would push it into "slight profitability" for the quarter. If that happens, it would be the first profitable quarter for Microsoft's gaming segment since it launched the original Xbox.

The black ink won't stop there, according to the analysts. They believe the Xbox 360 will maintain its momentum after the Halo release due to the underperforming PlayStation 3 and the exclusive downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV.

For more on the game, check out the complete coverage at GameSpot's Halo 3 Launch Center.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 251 comments about this story
251 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for mspranav

please get this game for pc

Avatar image for Dryker

generalmyke74 has just suffered a case of typing diarhea....

Avatar image for vass86

"soak it up MS..milk halo for all its worth because it is xbox only system seller" get real. mass effect is coming in a couple of months. then theres ninja gaiden 2 and fable 2 which is the reason i got one. then theres alan wake, halo wars..... all of this fills criteria for certain gamers. i certainly feel very well catered for

Avatar image for vass86

i really don't know why you people argue over which system is better. just go buy what you want and be done with it already instead of all this immature bickering

Avatar image for GdG

I have all 3 systems and the xbox has been the most active! I look forward to super mario galaxy and mgs but the xbox is going to continue to rule tho...specially with mass effect coming out...cant wait

Avatar image for generalmyke74

i see most of ps3 fanboys are saying 360 is only good for halo and 360 only has a few system sellers ok for one lost planet,dead rising, perfect dark zero, call of duty 2, oblivion,GOW,splinter cell, rainbow six, GRAW 1&2, halo 3, and forza was system sellers. i know for a fact halo 3 made alot of 360 sold because at my store we sold out on 360's just because of halo 3 and plus if you dont belive me about thoes games i listed i can tell you PDZ and COD2 had 360 selling 2 million in less then a week so they must be system sellers and the rest of thoes games sold on 2 million copies which only 1 PS3 game did and that was resistance fall of sony i dont hate SONY i love em but i hate ps3 and that division but i love ps2 man i sured loved socom 2 i played that game more then halo some times til CODE 9 came on that game and ruined it. and this is where i come to online play see if you cheat on a free online you get that FREE account ban then you make another one then who ever started the cheating is going to find a way to bypass so you cant get caught. but on xbox live you get caught cheating you get ban for 7,000 years and plus if you try to trade it in at the store soon as they turn the system on its going to show that message then thats no store credit for you. so PS3 is for online? plzzz theres no support for FREE things hell if you glitch on halo or Standby you get suspended while on PSN you dont because theres no feedback system or people monitoring the game like they do in halo. and im attempting to buy another ps3 because MGS4 is amazing right now i love MGS im a big fan since NES MGS i even got the mgs on gameboy and MGS ps1 ps2 xbox so i love what sony had offered us in the past and now the future but 1 game is not going to change it. thats why xbox 1 sold horrible 24 million in 4 years is bad considering 12 million in 22 months and who knows how much they sold since halo 3 launch. 1 more lesson for everybody SONY and MS is buisness people they sometimes lie and react to situations to fix it so thats why MS did not mention no ROD on the 360's til after and that why SONY lied at E3 05 about PS3 performing 4 times faster then 360 when they failed to show how much better the 360 GPU is compared to the RSX and im like one of the few that caught that. but thats not the case i remember back then we was all told killzone 2 would be a launch title but seem to be a 1 year delay or more so this year where is ps3 exclusives? i mean army of two and call of duty 4 is the biggest 3rd party games but SONY needs more then that for that overpriced 300 things in 1 system. and all this come down to who cares about the resolution of halo 3 when it delivers FUN thats the word of the day is FUN remember that. and since i love 360 so much i proud to say i hate bioshock i beat the game 1 time and its like wow no REPLAY value what so ever but halo 3 yes the meta games are fun to get points you should try it. about the lieng part microsoft and sony suffered first microsoft suffered a 1 billion dollar lost i know thats not alot of money to them but come on i wish i had a billion.then sony suffered because they lack games so bad their system cant sell good it sold under 1 million at launch now thats showing something. and hordaak you made since whent he xbox gamer and ps3 gamer while one say ima play this game while the other say hey! did you see the new trailer of this game that comes out 2 years from now hey if im right if sony keep comen out with games this slow for another 2 years then xbox 720 will be out lmfao

Avatar image for TheoleDominion1

Well said CMcCon342, Sony needs to step up. Though primarily an x360 fan, I want Sony in the mix. As gamers we all know what can happen if you only have ONE company to buy from. Sony over the past five years has been under-achieving til MS showed up with the original Xbox. We don't want MS wounding up the same way, so we definately need another major player in the field. Since MS is selling more games than anyone (though Ninty leads in consoles sold) Nintendo is catching on too, I heard there coming out with a more powerful version of the Wii.

Avatar image for hordaak

Xbox gamer: "I'm going to play some halo 3" PS3 gamer: "I can't wait to watch another MGS teaser!!!" Xbox gamer: "I'm going to play Gears of War" PS3 gamer: "Hey lets watch another MGS film" Xbox gamer: "I LOVE HALO 3!!!" PS3 gamer: "I kinda like warhawk..a little bit..." xbox 360 owners are PLAYERS...ps3 owners are WAITERS...

Avatar image for CMcCon342

I have the 360 and the PS3. I played Resistance and 10 hours in I couldn't wait for it to be over (and I absolutely love Insomniac, R&C Going Commando is my 2nd favorite game of all time, can't wait for Tools of Destruction) and I played Motorstorm which turned out to be the demo with a few more levels (got boring really quickly, but that first few hours was sweet, just no depth). Now on to my 360 experience. I played the crap out of Oblivion more than 6 months before it came to PS3. I played the crap out of Rainbow Six 4 months before it came to PS3. I played the crap out of GRAW and GOW, Splinter Cell, Call of Duty 2, Hitman, Prey (yes, I like shooters a little bit), Saints Row, Battlefield 2, Crackdown, Fear, The Darkness, and BioShock. My god, I know its been out longer, but Sony is just sucking it up. They desparately need something for people to play. I wait anxiously for R&C (the should have has R&C and Twisted Metal at launch, as is, they still haven't announced a Twisted Metal game, what are they waiting for, interest in the system is soooo low.) Tell us TM is coming, tell us God of War 3 is coming, make us believe you actually want to win this thing. The best game I've played on my PS3 was God of War 2... My favorite thing to do on my PS3 is watch movies... The best game I've played on my 360...I don't know, maybe BioShock, maybe Gears, perhaps Oblivion, or that little game called Halo 3 that has been consuming my life all week. I'm not a PS hater, I loved PS2, I'm just a frustrated consumer, I bought the system, now I want to play it. Give me something worthwhile to play Sony. You took my $600, now give me some effing games.

Avatar image for potatoesman

i think ms deserve this as they came in late and have done alot of good. xbox live is astounding i had it on xbox one wen it first came out and hot dang was that fun!

Avatar image for playstation_wii

Halo 3 is awesome!

Avatar image for dmcphillie

@steven141 Sorry, mate, I understand what you meant, but, felt that it read that way that I described. and you'll get no thumbs down for owning a PS3 from me, I think its a brilliant system, just lacks support. But, you guys will get the goods eventually( and me when the price goes down) Recommedation for you if you do get a 360, go for the elite for the 120gb Hard drive if you like to download. Thats me a year down the line and I'm having to budget my space. or get a core and get a 120gb hard drive off ebay(brand new £70 ($120-$140)) Anyway. Back to Halo 3(if the missus will get off Zuma)

Avatar image for Homerj

The 360 has had about four games so far that could be considered 'system sellers', GeOW, Oblivion, Bioshock and Halo 3. From what I can tell by Sony fanboy hype, there are three games that fit that bill for the PS3, MGS4, Killzone 2 and the next Final Fantasy. The 360 had GeOW released at 1yr post launch. How many of the PS3 games on that list have been actually released at 1yr post launch.....thought so.

Avatar image for livinglegend305

sales for over %60 along with the price cut..the limited edition halo didnt make a special 360 for those other games you mentioned.

Avatar image for livinglegend305
livinglegend305 has only marketed halo 3 with all that hype. all those other games are excellent...the only game that i personally know of people going to buy a 360 in my opinion is halo 3.

Avatar image for Phabiuo3

livinglegend305... What about Gears, Mass Effect, or Forza? Besides, the quality of the game doesn't necessarily translate into the best sales (although that isn't the case with Halo 3).

Avatar image for livinglegend305

soak it up MS..milk halo for all its worth because it is xbox only system seller

Avatar image for darkride66

I have all 3 systems and was pretty hyped for Halo3, but alas, my 360 is in for repairs again. I have my copy of Halo3, ready to go, but I'm more than enjoying Warhawk while I wait. I don't know what people are talking about in terms of lack of games for the PS3. A quick scan of reviews on this site shows about 50 PS3 games, almost 60% of which are rated 8 or higher. I don't think that's too shabby for a system that hasn't even been out for a year yet. If it weren't for Halo I'd be tempted to cancel my Xbox live. Online play is all I care about. I think it's criminal that MS has always charged for its service, even if it is a better setup at the moment. JMHO.

Avatar image for steven141

just for the record i didn't use the term 'real gamer' first, i was merely using it from eric's post. Plus i did NOT say to only wait for the big games, i was implying to wait for the games YOU want which don't necessarily mean they are big. It's a few things about the PS3 that made me buy it and the original things coming out such as Littlebigplanet which looks fun to be honost. Also i'm willing to bet i got a lot of thumbs down's on my post purely because i like the PS3 and own one, it's quite laughable really because im considering buying a 360 for Fable 2 and perhaps Halo 3

Avatar image for N-Flamez

Come on microsoft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U Sony fanboys say u "dont care about Halo" but if was one PS3 you know u would love it, Halo rules, but I so wish we had Tekken on our side I love that game

Avatar image for 0011992288

I work at the global UPS hub in Louisville Kentucky, and we had 20 trailers full of H3 last night. So 4.2 mil sounds about right given their distributions.

Avatar image for Chris-Parker

to dmcphille. Thankgod there is somebody that posts on this website that doesn't have the opinion of a 5 year old! True gaming is what we all live for I couldn't give a rats ass about whats system its on. Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 are both cool in there own way! There is plenty to come from sony, that I can be sure of, the only problem is when......hmm did someone say something about a delay!!!!

Avatar image for BigDaveyDogz

Sony fanbois are's funny and kinda sad at the same time. Keep waiting for all your supposedly "killer apps" to come along...cause first it was suppposed to be Lair and that failed. Heavenly Sword? nope, not the system seller you hoped for. And hate to break it to you but MGS4 is not a console seller. The only thing I can see giving Sony a chance right now is LittleBigPlanet.

Avatar image for 99problems

gta is not the end all be all game when it comes to selling systems .

Avatar image for games100

It is a good time to be a 360 fanboy.... all we need now is MGS4...... i am aloud to dream..........

Avatar image for kman4564

ok everyone halo is a big hit woop dee doo if Microsoft wouldnt of got grand theft auto they wouldnt of sold alot of 360s they r buying the 360s becuz there cheaper if Sony woulda been the only one to have gta they would of made alot more sales

Avatar image for ardandil

uhmmm let me see here... i went four days ago to a flea market here at my hometown, (monterrey nl. mexico) and i played the game at a retail... a original downloaded copy of course... i gess they have a very good deal with distributors, aren't they?

Avatar image for dmcphillie

@steve141 I love the term 'Real Gamer', So a 'Real Gamer' only waits for the big Games. Dont know about the other guys. But thats not a real gamer, thats just someone who wants to do what other people tell them. I dont wait for other people to make up my mind, the only thing i'm interested in is me and playing games, I (and other 'real gamers') make up my own mind about the games I want to play, based on what I like,want(and occasionally hype). OK, it meant I got to play some turkeys over my (20 odd) years of gaming, but, its also meant I got to play some true classics that nobody ever bought as well as half lifes(over rated), Deus Ex's and Metal Gears. Gaming is my main hobby, im not fit (or fat), dont like sports and forgotten how to read(unless its subtitles) and modern (reality) TV is a lot of c**p. I'm not interested in picking sides. I just want to play great games Also you say "there are dozens of advantages to buying a PS3" I'd like to hear your thoughts on that cause, other than Playing Resistance(which I kinda fancy), Ninja Gaiden, Final Fantasy and Possibly Metal Gear. I can think of no reasons to buy one. 360 now has a huge base of quality games, most of which can be bought second hand at about £10 - £20 quid($18-$36), they've finally sorted out technical problems with the system(which has also happened to PS3, but, compared to MS360 was pretty low) and you now get a 3 year warranty. Their live service is vastly superior to sonys'(due to experience) Dont get me wrong, I want one, but, simply refuse to pay the price. I feel so sorry for early adopters who, quite frankly got the sh1t end of the stick. No Great Games (resistance is good) (motorstorm was an impressive tech demo) and trickle of releases and the PS3's top game(Oblivion in my opinion) was a port of PC&XBOX. At least they done a good job porting it. At least you guys are getting Bioshock. Anyway I forgot what I starting writing for, im just ranting now. I dont care who wins the race as long as the quality of games keeps rising and I get to play great games. People can keep complaining about which console is better, the only winners in the end are the 'REAL GAMERS' Amen

Avatar image for Turisman4

Amazing. It takes 4,300,000 games to give the company a slight profit, rofl.

Avatar image for mariokart64fan

wii is going some where not your ps3 , 360 may

Avatar image for HMtheJJ

well made u look, so who is the fool???

Avatar image for aesportsguy14

@ HMtheJJ Learn correct grammar and how to organize a sentence coherently before you post again. It was difficult to understand what you were even saying... All I understood was: "lol...3 mils...halo...something about XBOX360 going somewhere..."

Avatar image for HMtheJJ

this game will sell no more than 3 mils, thanks to the hypes, but who ever owns this game, enjoy it while u can. lol,(just a hateful thought) hate the whole halo around this game, yet i have a copy of Halo 3: Limited Legendary Edition. And about XBOX360, it's not going anywhere in a bad way... it is pretty much done for it, so dont even hope or anaylis it will sell more, at least both of my 360 are still working, so no complains there.

Avatar image for aesportsguy14

@ steven141 If I had a dollar for everytime I heard "PS3" and "Wait" in the same train of thought, I'd be rich. That line about "a real gamer doesn't get things for now" is a bunch of B$. I remind you that the Xbox has been out for nearly 2 years now, the great games are coming out now... Why would a consumer skip the launch of Halo 3, Mass Effect, COD4, Bioshock, etc. and wait a year for the PS3 titles to start coming out? That's not smart, even if it is what the "real gamers" do.

Avatar image for darkscorcher

PhilElsen, i own an 360 and technically, the ps3 isn't more expensive than the 360 when you look at what your getting. ethernet adapter, self upgradeable harddrive, hd video playback. HOWEVER, 360 is still a better system to own than the ps3 as of right now just for the games and graphics, even though they dont support using the hard drive for loading textures. even tho i had to have it sent in twice for repair then replacment. and had to wait nearly a month each time.

Avatar image for PhilElsen

why pay twice the price for a PS3 when you can get the 360 core with halo 3 and GTA IV and exclusive downloadable. Go 360

Avatar image for SemiMaster

One game pushes Microsoft gaming back into the positive? Wow.

Avatar image for steven141

@ eric7233 that is because a real gamer doesnt get things for now, a gamer waits for the great games that are coming out instead of being a person without patience and too much cash =). In other words you look forward to see how many games will come out for each system, the expected lifespan of a console. There are dozens of advantages to buying a PS3 and i suppose there are a few for the 360 too, they are both equally good consoles but i see the PS3 as the better console in the long-run

Avatar image for eric7233

I dont know how any real gamer can possibly stand to wait around for ps3 to finally be a good system to have .. xbox has all the great games now and will keep putting out the good ones for a long time .. who cares if sony will someday catch up or even pass xbox if you have to suffer not having any great games to play for yet another year to come.Its goofy. Theres zero advantage to owning only a ps3 right now and about a dozens advatages to owning an xbox. If that changes a year from now .. maybe ill rent a ps3 to catch on the god of war 3 or something but it definitly wont be worth buying.

Avatar image for Sanguis_Malus

Not interested in analyst turd, I will be enjoying H3 thats all there is to it. Its gonna do fantastic sales, we all know that.

Avatar image for GrimBee

Halo is one of those games which last a long long time, not like an RPG - but its one of those games which give you something else to do with it at any given time, whether it be finding secrets and getting achievments in the single player - or doing the mass of multiplayer stuff. Halo 3 ain't going anywhere soon, and its just going to build and build the 360 userbase. THEN - the 360 userbase will be unique to the ps3 and the wii, just like the wii is unique to the 360 and ps3. And then when the ps3 gets its own games, it will be unique also. The more kinds of different games a console has - seperates it from the crowd. And that is a good thing. That way they are all winners.

Avatar image for milnet

Wii is already beating 360 buddy but PS3 will fight back, you can be sure. In fact I hope it does because that means better games on all three platforms which means better for me. I have all three consoles and I want them all to win.

Avatar image for ultramagnus007

Damn !!! this game really pwnd PS3... Some people say that XBOX360 will be at top for time being when HALO 3 released but after that PS3 will be at top.. I think thats wrong ... HALO 3 is not the only game which survive XBOX360 there are more other games to come like NINJA GAIDEN 2, MASS EFFECT, FABLE 2 etc u name it .. But Still XBOX360 will remain at top in this console war. And which Sony's game is going to compete with HALO 3? KillZone 2 yeah LOL!!! we already know how much KillZone 1 got scores

Avatar image for Homerj

@amclain1: This is precisely where the MS and Sony business models are different. MS is a software company. The only reason why they built the xbox and the 360 was to provide a platform for software Their hardware is only designed to last about 3-4yrs as thats about the lifespan of a set spec for a high end PC (the 360 is after all a high/mid range spec gaming PC thats standardized). Sony is first and foremost a home electronics manufacturer, they are all about the hardware. In the last gen, they depended on the third party developers to provide content. They have set themselves back at least a couple of years by providing a subpar dev kit for an exotic and unfamiliar tech. By the time all that "hidden potential' in the PS3 is finally utilized for a gaming application, MS will already be headed into its next generation of console.

Avatar image for LINK2K9

@ amclain1 You're joking, right? Even if the PS3 has "great amounts of potential" 98% of the 3rd developers aren't going to use that when the 360 is so far ahead of the PS3 in both console and games sales. I agree, we shouldn't say the PS3 is already out, but all of this talk of "teh potentialz" sounds like something a Sony PR man would spew. And, considering the scores Halo 3 is getting, it may not be "TEH BEST THUR EVUR WUZ ND WIL B" but it sounds like a damn good game that millions will enjoy. I know I will.

Avatar image for amclain1

Wow, i am still surprised by this discussion. Comparing the ps3 to the 360 is oil and water, they are two very different machines. Yes your 360 looks better, yes it's more stable, it's also old tech and will reach its limits a lot sooner, but it works fine and is a great machine so big deal. The ps3 is an untested unproven machine that has a great amount of potential but still has yet to be pushed to it's full potential(this is not graphics, but physics and AI capabilities). This is a publisher issue not a system issue. Resistance fall of man was a launch title and proved the the ps3 can do great games, every game released since then has been crap due to poor development and the use of six axis controller. Halo is a pop game it's not the best at anything, but it is easy to love to play and to get into and that makes it easier for people to get into the game. Computers had great multi play decades ago, they still own the fps market. I love halo, and i am not biased towards sony or Microsoft, i just know that it is still to early to call the ps3 out. We as gamers should embrace that we have a choice not start a war between companies because thats just gonna hurt us in the end.

Avatar image for trorie

I agree Cano...people hate it just because they want to buck the "trend". It's their way of sticking it to the man, I guess. Hey, Halo isn't for everyone, but at least everyone should admit that it's a great series and has been one of the most influential games of our time.

Avatar image for NA3D

Wow, so people actually think there is a hope for the PS3... Good for them, I will see them when they come back to reality when the PS4 releases.

Avatar image for Evinco_DX

Ahh it's so great to be a 360 owner, poor sony fanboys not a good game insight just staring at their consoles wishing they had a fantastic multiplayer game like Halo 3 to play.

Avatar image for CANOFOWNAGE

By the time the games are released on the PS3, people have been there done that. Just to focus more on this board, it suprises me how many people here hate halo and say it is no match for other FPS. Obviously it is because of it's massive fanbase and reputation. Not to mention its income.