Halo 3 - Xbox 360
HEADLINES were made, celebrity parties erupted in London and hundreds of shops stayed open until after midnight.
What national event warranted this media maelstrom? The launch of a computer game.
Yes, times have certainly changed with the games industry no longer perceived as the inferior sibling to films and music.
Halo 3 now stands as the ultimate case in point, making $170 million in its first 24 hours on the shelf - the highest grossing opening day in entertainment history.
The good news is that Halo 3 deserves the unprecedented hype. Every element of the game is an improvement on the prior two, from the sharper graphics and honed gameplay to the new weapons and vehicles.
Halo 3 is also the final instalment of the trilogy and so the game has an epic feel as the story comes to its gripping conclusion.
Once again, you play as Master Chief - Earth's last, best hope in the galactic struggle against an alien sect called the Covenant.
It may sound like your typical science-fiction tripe but the story is well handled and paced and makes for a stunning subtext about the connection between religion and war.
For newcomers, the game is very easy to pick up and play with intuitive controls and four difficulty levels to choose from.
The game also seems very open-ended but is actually fairly linear - meaning you have that sense of emancipated freedom but will rarely get lost in the dense landscape.
New multiplayer options like the up-scaled death matches and the much-welcomed cooperative mode are also where Halo excels, so prepare to lose many hours of your life online.
Microsoft is hoping that this will be the game that remedies the Xbox 360's flagging sales and this will no doubt be achieved. This is pulse-racing stuff from start to finish - a classic well in the making.