Microsoft will release a limited-edition Xbox 360
console themed around Halo: Reach this fall, it said Thursday night at
The Halo-inspired Xbox will be released
on the same day as the new shooter, Sept. 14. It will have all the bells
and whistles of the recently released Xbox 360 redesign, from built-in
Wi-Fi to a 250-gigabyte hard drive. A new paint job and custom sounds
trick out the machine with Halo flair. Bundled with two similarly
customized controllers and a copy of the game, the package will cost
Halo: Reach is the hotly anticipated next installment in
Microsoft’s key game series. The first-person shooter serves as a
prequel to the events of the original Halo.
Bungie and Microsoft
say that they spent a great deal of time adorning the limited-edition
box with visual and audio references to the world of Halo.
used the ONI as the backdrop for the console,” said Bungie designer Jim
McQuillan to Wired.com in an exclusive pre-show interview. McQuillan was
referring to the shadowy Office of Naval Intelligence, a key part of
the fiction of the popular shooter series.
The controllers and headset microphone included with the Halo: Reach Xbox 360 will be customized similarly to the console.
Players should think of the console as a real-life
version of an in-game artifact, “the archive reader for the last
remaining days of Reach,” said McQuillan. “We wanted something that felt
high-tech, something that you would see rows and rows and racks of in a
The console will appear inside the game,
said Microsoft industrial designer Claire Gerhardt. “You have this
console in your living room and then you go through the levels and you
see it in a lab,” she said. “It’s badass.”
The sounds that the
machine makes are also cued to the Halo world. For instance, when you
press the disc eject button, you hear the sound of the Spartan
character’s energy shields charging up — music to the ears of any Halo
The limited-edition Xbox also has a surprising custom paint job, says Gerhardt.
thing that’s interesting that you can’t see in any photography is that
the console is painted with two different shades of gray,” she said.
“Depending on how you hold the console, the metallic finish, the grays
kind of shift.”