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Waiting even at 'Halo 3' pre-launch party

While hordes wait for midnight madness events in cities around the U.S., even the invite-only crowd for a 'Halo 3' pre-launch party at Microsoft had to wait to get in.

Even at invite-only Halo 3 pre-launch events, there's waiting. No tents were needed, though.
Daniel Terdiman/CNET Networks

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Right now, my colleague Caroline McCarthy is waiting, with the masses, in New York's Times Square. They're holding out for midnight when, at long last, the curtain will roll back on Halo 3, the latest iteration of one of the biggest video game franchises in history.

But, I'm here, in the heart of Silicon Valley, at Microsoft's campus here, and the small crowd here is waiting to get into the invite-only Halo 3 pre-launch event the software giant is hosting tonight.

Instead of thousands, there are dozens. But the anticipation on the faces of those in line is probably the same as those huddled up in New York, LA or Miami.

For me, there was a bit of a scare as it turned out I wasn't on the list to get in, but after a little bit of back and forth, the nice people at the entrance gave me the thumbs-up.

And that was great, because it turns out I got to go inside before they were supposed to let press in. Insert smiley here.

Of course, inside, in the cafeteria where the event is being held, there wasn't much excitement going on just yet. A few monitors with Halo 3 screen savers and a bunch of Halo 3 banners. And a bunch of hungry Microsoft employees and others who made the cut for this event wolfing down free food to steel them for an evening of playing the game they've waited so long to play.

Before the invitees at this Halo 3 pre-launch event were let in, the venue--the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus cafeteria--was empty save for some employees and a bunch of Halo 3 banners. Daniel Terdiman/CNET