Microsoft launches 'Halo: Spartan Assault' as Verizon Wireless exclusive

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) released Halo: Spartan Assault, the first installment in the popular first-person shooter franchise optimized for the company's Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system. The title is available worldwide except in the United States, where it is offered exclusively to Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) subscribers through Aug. 16.

The Halo series depicts an interstellar war pitting humanity against a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant. Halo: Spartan Assault, a single-player title priced at $6.99, is the first Halo release developed for touchscreen interactions. Set in the years between Halo 3 and Halo 4, the game encompasses 25 missions as well as weekly challenges, leaderboards and more than 40 in-game achievements and medals. Microsoft also is offering in-app purchases like weapons, armor and abilities.

Halo: Spartan Assault is available for download from Microsoft's Windows Phone Store. "You'll need 1 GB RAM to play it," said Microsoft editor Michael Stroh. "A lower-memory version is scheduled for release in August."

The Halo franchise has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, grossing almost $3.4 billion. Microsoft is looking to fan enthusiasm for Halo to attract gamers to the Windows Phone platform, which has struggled to build up a catalog of mobile applications and games on par with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

For more:
- read this Windows Phone Blog post

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