"Halo 2," the much-hyped video game for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox video game console, had sales of $125 million in just 24 hours on the market, the company said Wednesday.
The figures for the United States and Canada, which represented sales of 2.38 million units, easily exceeded Microsoft's prediction that it would top $100 million in sales.
If independent sales figures show that Microsoft topped or exceeded $125 million in sales, then "Halo 2" would definitely count among the top five best-selling games in history for first-day sales, said David Riley, senior manager with The NPD Group.
But in a year which expects to see many big game debuts, he cautioned that it's too early to know who will eventually claim the most sales in a 24-hour period.
In general, Riley said it's hard to get accurate data on first-day game sales, although NPD Group does provide estimates on total sales for the life of a video game.
Through September 2004, the company ranks "Super Mario 64" as the best-selling game to date with $308 million in sales since its September 1996 debut. "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," which went on sale in October 2002, ranks second, with total sales of $284 million.
Tuesday's sales figures would put "Halo 2" on track to easily beat out the first version of "Halo." That game debuted in November of 2001 and ranked eighth with sales of $149 million through September 2004, according to NPD.
Retailers also reported a busy day. GameStop Inc., which operates 1,726 stores throughout the United States, said it sold more than 500,000 copies of "Halo 2" in the first day, substantially more than any other game on its first day of release.