Microsoft goes for the Halo effect
It was a busy Tuesday in the video game industry, with Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Halo 3ringing up $170 million in sales in a single day. It shattered the $125 million in opening day sales set by Halo 2 three years ago.

This is just what Microsoft needs as we head into the crucial holidays. Having a "must have" title that doesn't play on rival consoles? You can't beat that.

It's also a franchise that is popular online. And that is the key, really. Microsoft wants gamers duking it out on its front porch so it can sell them smaller digital games, movies, music, and add-ons.

I was a slacker. I didn't pick up my copy until Thursday. Hey, I've got responsibilities during the week! Either way, by the time you read this, rest assured that I'll be blasted to bits by some pimply teens with better gaming skills.

Quick hits
A few more of the market's stories, in brief:

  • Jones Soda (NASDAQ:JSDA) is celebrating its deal as the exclusive soft drink provider for the Seattle Seahawks by rolling out a limited edition five-pack of football-themed flavors, including dirt and perspiration. Tasty, right? Could it get any worse? I wonder what flavors the company rejected. Dr. Jockstrap? Soaking Therapy Tub Stew?
  • (NASDAQ:AMZN) began selling MP3 downloads this week. Is this going to be a big threat to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)? Time will tell, though I have an encouraging tidbit for Apple fans. The top selling tune in Amazon's store? Feist's 1234, which most of you will recognize as the song that is playing in those Apple nano commercials.  
  • Apple's got friends in well-caffeinated places, though. It hooked up with Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) in a deal to give away 50 million digital downloads of hand-picked tunes by the Starbucks music team. I know that Starbucks is cool and all, but I can't be the only one unimpressed with some of the song selections I'm hearing in their stores.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz and Starbucks are Stock Advisor selections. Microsoft is an Inside Value stock pick. Subscribe to either service and take advantage of a 30-day money-back offer. How's that for an offer one can't refuse?

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does own shares in Jones Soda. The Fool has a disclosure policy.