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Hot Start for 'Halo 3'

Microsoft says U.S. sales totaled $170 million in the first 24 hours after the game's release.
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said U.S. sales of the video game

Halo 3

totaled $170 million in the first 24 hours after its release.

Within the first 20 hours, more than 1 million Xbox Live members went online to play the game, making Sept. 25 the most active Xbox Live gaming day in history, the company said.

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More than 1.7 million copies of

Halo 3

were preordered in the U.S. before the game went on sale earlier this week. "

Halo 3

has become a pop-culture phenomenon," said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, in a statement.

Shares of Microsoft tacked on 0.6% to $29.67 early Thursday.