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'Halo 3' Could Be Godsend Xbox Needed

The simExchange, a fantasy stock market that allows gamers to predict video game sales, expects 10.6 million copies of Halo 3 to be sold over its lifetime.

"Halo is a big game now and will be for months," says David Dennis, a spokesperson for Microsoft's games and entertainment devices division. "When people go out to buy a console this holiday season, they are still going to think about Halo 3 and the console for it."

Microsoft's games releases for the Xbox 360 does not end with Halo 3. The year's best titles including Activision's (ATVI) Call of Duty 4, Guitar Hero 3, and Electronic Arts' (ERTS) Rock Band will launch on the Xbox 360, in addition to the older PlayStation 2 and PS3.

Microsoft has also managed to secure exclusive episodic content around Take-Two's (TTWO) much-anticipated game, Grand Theft Auto IV, scheduled for release next year.

Sony has responded to the increased competition last week by cutting the price on its 80GB model of its PS3 console by $100 to $499 and introducing a lower priced 40GB version for $399. The Xbox 360 ranges from $277.99 to $449.99, depending on the model.

Despite a price cut for the Xbox 360 in August, the first since the console was launched, Microsoft still has enough room to make another one, said Matt Rosoff, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, an independent research firm.

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