David Mclean, Microsoft's regional head of entertainment and devices, today paid tribute to the Halo brand at a Microsoft Open House event in Sydney, Australia.
The Xbox manager admitted that the popularity of the console was largely attributable to Bungie's phenomenally successful shooter, which to date has sold in excess of 34 million copies.
"Let's face facts: without Halo, I do not know where the Xbox business would be today", he stated at the event.
Mclean -- who has been with Microsoft since the original Xbox launched in 2000 -- poked fun at some early Xbox exclusives, such as the widely panned Blinx and NightCaster. "I loved the box, it had a nice pink cover", he joked.
"Fortunately for us, we also launched a game with a small studio back then, called Bungie... It was an important start for us, as I'm sure many of you would agree. And look where we are now -- Xbox has leap-frogged the competition in terms of our technology."
The Halo series has sold more than 34 million copies worldwide since the first game was released in 2001, equating to US$1.5 billion in sales. The latest instalment (and Bungie's swansong) Halo Reach will be released worldwide on 14 September.
We have already reviewed the game and can confirm it is awesome; a fitting farewell to the console that Bungie built. (Stay tuned for our full review, coming soon.)