Halo 4 Midnight Launch Live Blog

So, I misjudged the popularity of Halo 4.

Suffice it to say, last week I decided to preorder a copy of Halo 4’s Limited Edition, only to discover they’d all been spoken for. It’s not that I underestimated the popularity of Halo as a franchise, more like Microsoft’s use of the word “Limited”. A few years back, Microsoft made some stink about how “limited” Halo 3‘s $149 Master-Chief-Head-Edition would be – only for hundreds of copies to later litter store-shelves at a discount.

I suppose I forgot that somewhere along the way that MS had learned its lesson. Or, at the very least, learned to under-deliver for a launch day, creating the kind of frenzy that 11th-hour customers dread – the infamous “I’ll be left out while all my friends are playing the hottest thing today” scenario.

Oh sure, I could just preorder the Limited Edition from Amazon and get it on Wednesday. But I’m insane. I know not of this “patience” you speak of. So, as it happens, tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern, I will find myself outside of my local Future Shop (Canada’s equivalent of Best Buy – which, coincidentally, is owned by Canada’s division of Best Buy) bracing the incoming Canadian winter because… well.. I was too lazy (and ignorant) to preorder the game months ago. Futuremore, to justify said laziness, I’ve decided to live-blog the experience for your personal amusement.

Also, because I moved a coffee date until tomorrow, claiming I had “work on Monday night,” so I could wait in line for Halo 4.

But I digress.

Leave this page open, refresh frequently throughout the night, and revel in my misery. If you’ve never waited in line for a game, you’re about to find out how mind-numbing it is. Er, I mean, really, amazingly compelling journalistically.

Stay tuned.

4.54 pm – Incidentally, I’ll be doing all my live blogging from WordPress’s iPad app. So forgive any errors in spelling and grammar, as my fingers will no doubt be frozen solid by 8pm.

5:44 pm So, I’ve arrived early. Sadly, I’m the first in line. that said, at least I’ll get that limited edition. oh, and frost burn.

I also brought along a friend to lessen the patheticness of it all.


6:05 pm Guy just walked by: “Big sale?”

Me: “No, Halo.”

Guy: [processing whatever the hell I just said to him] …Oh.

Then he walked away.

6:12 pm Beat responses thus far to confused passers-by:

“We’ve been displaced by Hurricane Sandy”

“We’re occupying Wall Street”

“Dude, the new 1 Direction album comes out tomorrow”

Most common response is still “… Oh”

Also there are now five more people here.


6:44 pm Ah yes, the head-banging 17 year-olds have arrived. Blaring the sounds of angsty-teen youth across the parking lot. I shit you not, a discussion broke out amongst them about how “misunderstood metal is.” a discussion they no doubt believe to be the innovators of.

jokes on them tho, in five years they’ll be the first in line for a Norah Jones concert.

incidentally, have you ever tried to eat a sub with gloves? it is not fun.

6:56 pm

More responses to questions of “Why are you here”:

“Obama is speaking here tomorrow!”

“The new Xbox is coming out. it’s got Super-HD”

“The cast of Degrassi is doing a signing here tomorrow. we’re huge fans”

and my favorite this far: “iPhone mini”

Sadly, the headbangers don’t find am this amusing and constantly point out I’m lying. I guess metal doesn’t foster imagination.

7:37 pm My view…


8:13 pm Three more have joined the line. The cold has killed most of the enthusiasm. Everyone now sits in their fold out chairs. Some with blankets, others not.

I just spent the last 15 minutes wandering around the store. Noticed that Microsoft released a “limited edition” Halo 4 controller for $69. It glows blue. It does not, however, come with a play and charge kit like it’s identically priced, but Halo-marked-less Special Edition cousin. A prime example of Microsoft making its money.

A cop just drove by and asked what were doing. This time I played it straight , “Halo.”

He paused. “…oh”

Now he’s parked next to us, waiting in line. Victory.

9:00 pm 3 hours left. Our line keeps growing. A woman walked by and took a picture of us. What a boring scrap book she must keep.

Another kid just informed us that if we preordered, we don’t have to wait in line. I’m guess he’s one of those college kids I keep hearing about.

9:40 pm Word to the wise: LeBaron chair aren’t meant to be sat in for six straight hours. I have no idea how campers manage this… must be the alcohol.

Also, some passer-by just wished us luck. Does this imply the store might change their mind about selling the game? Weird.

10:05 pm Rob and I have had the following conversations:

• how the whole “hat keeps 80% of your body heat in” study was bullshit

• how little real-estate agents make

• a failed attempt at trying to remember when the gold standard disappeared

the metal heads keep discussing if Black Ops 2 will be worth buying.

different strokes, and all that

10:09 pm Camaraderie has formed between us and the metal heads. It’s a brave new world.

10:14 pm My pretaped Internet show has begun airing, why not listen for the next hour: http://www.punkradiocast.com/

11:05 pm A hybrid Taxi just pulled up – so eerie to see a car pull away with no engine noise.

we’ve reached the literally 11th hour. everyone is putting away their chairs. we people are showing up. the crowd is excited again.

talked to one of the metal heads. turns out he works at this store, but took the week off for Halo. he’s also in college for programming. nice kid.

Rob just went to the bathroom for the 4th time tonight.

11:08 pm A comment on this article’s listing on N4G just stated that Halo 4 has has 1.8 million per-orders. Wild.

11:11 pm Instructions for the launch are being issued


11:15 pm my iPhone died. It mislead me to believe I had 26% left. Now on Rob’s phone. Dear god non-retina is hideous.

11:17 pm The line…


11:19 pmThe store is ready…


11:32 pm Excitement grows…


11:42 pm I think we have our first case of dementia – this guy has been leaning against the window, yelling at his mom for the last 15 mins. Apparently he will “not get a damn taxi, Mom!”

He just admit he’s also a loser for standing outside of a future shop waiting for Halo.

We’re witnessing the end of someone’s life here.


11:47 pm This just happened…


11:53 pm Inches and goal…

11:54 pm Just overheard in line “Rasta people need wigs too!”

11:59 pm Crazy kid just got picked up by his mom: “Get in the damn car”

12:02 pm Game acquired. Live blog over. Thanks for hanging out with me.

12:24 pm Hilariously, some people have complained about how anticlimatic the ending to this live-blog was. To that I say:

“Don’t stop…”


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
Author: Paul Stachniak View all posts by
Paul Stachniak is a freelance writer and former correspondent for The Space Channel. He often says things people disagree with. He can be twittered @paulstachniak.
  • pharmassist

    lol sounds fun.

  • Napoleon1066

    Wait… you didn’t bring alcohol? Error!

  • pharmassist

    lol it’s only 11:05 here still.

  • I stopped drinking months ago.

  • Napoleon1066

    Well then… you should have at least brought some hand warmers…