In just a few minutes Halo 3 launches to the masses in packed electronics and gaming stores across the country. It’s expected to be the biggest video game launch in history with expected sales of 200 million just in the first day alone. Yowza!! Halo 3 may just give Microsoft (MSFT) another leg up on Sony (SNE) in the gaming wars as Halo 3 will only be available on the Xbox 360 and launches amid rave reviews. Metacritic.com, an aggegrator of reviews of games, movies, music, tv shows and books rates Halo 3 a 96 out of 100.
A few reviews:
"It’s solid gameplay, immense replayability, online functionality and incredible production values will ensure its place in video game history, and it is, without a doubt, a satisfying and fulfilling close to the beloved trilogy" – GamePro
"The Forge is a gargantuan achievement that puts game design in the hands of players, daring you to be creative and invent a Halo 3 multiplayer experience all your own. Of course, the multiplayer is every bit as astonishing as it has been in past iterations and even eclipses its predecessors in many respects" – GameSpy
"The best game yet in one of the best FPS franchises of the era. Better than either of its predecessors, Halo 3 still can’t quite escape the category of flawed masterpiece – but this time around, the flaws are so minor that even the most churlish of reviewers would be hard pressed to mark the game down. " – Eurogamer
So how to profit? Well.. the obvious choice is Microsoft even though a huge Halo 3 success and robust XBox360 sales would still represent a small fraction of overall revenues. The stock actually looks good at these levels and for the long term holder I don’t see any reason why a position here wouldn’t be profitable over the next few years. Technically, I would wait for a surge above the 200 day moving average and that looks all but assured at this point.
The other obvious choice is GameStop (GME), but Halo 3 success is very much built into the stock already. That being said, it still looks very strong technically but initiating a position up at these levels carries considerably more risk.
Microsoft may have flat out failed in a Web 2.0 initiative (hence the desperation for a piece of Facebook), but it appears to be spending its way into success in the gaming industry which will only continue to grow as games become more appealing to the masses.