The final installment of Microsoft's wildly popular Xbox 360 first-person shooter trilogy attracted casual and hard-core gamers to midnight release parties across the country and set one-day sales records.
, an enormous spotlight beamed up, and full-out lighting and sound equipment--along with plenty of enormous TV screens--dominated the ground scene. But no one, really, was prepared for the spectacle that the Halo 3 event would turn into with about an hour to go.
Best Buy and Microsoft staffers kept their swag giveaways going, insisting that the rambunctious crowds cheer at the top of their lungs in order to get a free T-shirt or bouncy ball thrown at them.
Then the Mongooses arrived. With only 20 minutes left before midnight, three camo-clad bikers atop all-terrain vehicles decorated to look like the Halo 3 pimped rides showed up and incited the crowds to cheering as the riders performed noisy "wheelies" along the block of Fifth Avenue that had, by that time, been completely blocked off from normal traffic.
In the 24 hours that followed, sales of the game
Consumers weren't the only ones going gaga over the game. The game won high praise from reviewers. Plenty of games attempted to duplicate the Halo formula, with varying degrees of success. But there's still nothing quite like the genuine item.
Luckily for all involved, Halo 3 is a positively amazing package that offers extreme satisfaction across all of its different parts, according to.
Halo 3 will undoubtedly be the biggest game of the year. For many casual gamers, the release of Halo 3 means that it's time to buy an Xbox 360. And it's this cadre of individuals for which Microsoft has been waiting.
Trouble calls on patents
After months of battle, Internet phone service
In March, a jury in Virginia found that Vonage had infringed on three patents held by Verizon. And it awarded Verizon $58 million in damages, along with future damages of 5.5 percent on the revenue that Vonage was making during the appeal process.
The judge in the case imposed an injunction on Vonage that would force the company to stop delivering a service using technology that infringes on Verizon's patents. But because Vonage has been appealing the case, the injunction has not yet gone into effect.
On Wednesday, Vonage's appeal essentially came to an end. And as the legal dust settles, the small voice over IP company now faces the possibility of paying hefty monetary damages and a total shutdown of its IP telephony service.
Vonage was dealt another serious legal blow when a federal jury found the company had
Sprint sued Vonage in 2005, claiming that the company was infringing on seven Sprint patents that dealt with connecting Internet phone calls. Vonage denied the claims and argued that Sprint's patents shouldn't have been approved in the first place.
Vonage said in a statement that it will appeal the federal court's verdict. Vonage also said it will develop technological work-arounds that don't infringe on Sprint's patents.