Video game launches don't come any bigger than this... officially!
Today sees the launch of Activision's 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2', the sequel to one of the best games of 2007 and personal favourite. Developed by Infinity Ward and available on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 it is the sixth instalment in the Call of Duty series and - as the title suggests - the second set in the modern day.
Action picks up from where the first game ended and will see a single player campaign set across Russia, Afganistan and Brazil. Notoriously this also includes a level where gamers have the option to assassinate hostages while posing as a terrorist, but we'll avoid going all Daily Mail until we've actually played it. Early reviews are also extremely positive and suggest that MW2 could potentially be the game of the year, or at least the best FPS to date (it'll have to go some way to beat Forza 3 in my opinion).
Consequently excitement about the title is so hot it seems all but assured of the coveted Christmas #1 slot. How come? Amazon has today reported that MW2 has chalked up the biggest video game pre-order sales of all time eclipsing previous holder Grand Theft Auto 4 by more than 50 per cent and despite an 18 rated certificate.
In fact, such has been the hype around the title that both LoveFilm and The Hut broke today's launch date and began sending out copies early. Much as with the Windows 7 release, the blame was laid at the foot of Royal Mail with both companies claiming they were determined gamers wouldn't receive their orders late. Of course PC gamers won't benefit from any of this with IWNet and Steamworks built in which locked down the title until today.
Predictably a price war has also broken out around the high street with the controversial £55 RRP (£39.99 on PC) whittled down to as little as £26 in Sainburys. HMV also has a option to buy the game for just £9.99, but only if you trade in Froza 3, Tekken 6 or Uncharted 2 - harsh!
We're putting Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 through its paces as we speak. Expect the definitive review soon...
Screenshots on the next page
Update: Predictably MW2 has broken the first day UK video game sales record selling 1.23m units in 24 hours grossing £47m. To put this in some context previous holder Grand Theft Auto IV sold under 600,000 during the same time frame. Wildly impressive.