Halo 3 Discs Arrive Pre-Scratched

Eager fans today cracked open the hot new video game Halo 3, only to discover that their game discs were already scratched. It seems in their midst of preparing for a global launch with mondo cross-promotion, Microsoft forgot to check they didn’t use the the DVD holders with the defective nubs.

The weak nubs allowed the DVDs to float around and get all scraped.

Reader Mr. Chip Livejournals that 3 out the 4 he opened in Walmart, which were of the fancy metal tin “collector’s edition” variety, were scratched upon opening. That’s $70 for a game that’s already scratched. PC World says the scratches are cosmetic and you can still play the game just fine, but wants to buy a “new” scratched video game?

If your Halo 3 is scratched, you can get it swapped out for a shiny new one under the Xbox disc replacement program.

Wal-Mart Manager Admits He’d Rather Sell Defective Copies of Halo 3 Than Let Me Find Undamaged One [Mr. Chip]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Megatenist says:

    That sucks.More fuel to the Halo-haters :(

  2. Kezzerxir says:

    I just opened mine right now, and yep it was scratched.

  3. Chicken_Dippers says:

    I would hardly blame MS or Bungie. This was the manufacturers fault/the people who shipped/handled the game before they were placed on store shelves.

  4. Deadeyereborn says:

    Only my extras dvd was scracthed not the game disc itself which plays fine

  5. babaki says:

    i picked mine up today at a local best buy. the guy in front of me took 45 minutes. he kept making the girl open the box, then he fully inspected each disc . he went through 4 boxes. i thought he was nuts until i read this!

  6. Kezzerxir says:

    At least they are giving us to Dec 31 to replace Halo 3 discs for free. I can play my game now and replace it later when I beat it.

  7. Megatenist says:



    Wal-mart is so bass- ackwards about “customer service” that Mr.Chip’s story doesn’t surprise me.

  8. youruglyclone says:

    MS is aware of the problem and already implementing a free replacement program

    here’s a link for the lazy

    replacements for Halo 3 LE discs are free til 08, so get going.

    I’m done shilling.

  9. Miya says:

    I didn’t make a pre-order at EB Games like I usually do so I gave in and went to Best Buy. The first Collector’s Edition I bought was completely scratched up. So I went to the Returns and Exchange counter where the Sales Associate and I opened Collector’s Edition boxes until we found one where the disc was completely mounted and unscratched. :D The Essentials disc was a little scratched up but I don’t really care. My boyfriend will be a happy gamer tonight when I hand Halo 3 to him.

  10. bluegus32 says:

    @Megatenist: Um, Halo haters? I think the term you are looking for is “nutjobs”. Who hates Halo? Sheesh.

  11. Ca$h (aka man of the people) says:

    Both my friend’s and my LE copy of H3 was scratched up. Booth seem to play fine though, so its not really a huge deal I guess. Would’ve been nice if the discs weren’t scratched though.

  12. LowerHouseMember says:

    Big deal, the 360 is going to scratch up the disc as soon as you play it anyway.

  13. Booya for opting for the “Regular” edition.


  14. landu13 says:

    How about fixing it in the first place? They were eager to release a console with a shitty design a year too early just to get in the market and now look, they had to “spend” 3 million/billion (whats the difference to bill gates?) to fix the warranties which were shitty from day one of the original xbox (90 days on that and the start of the 360 gimmie a break)

    How about finish your product then release it.

  15. jslay012 says:

    I picked up my legendary edition this morning and when I got back to the car, I realized that the discs were sliding around in the case. Took off the wrap and sure enough, both were scratched. Went back into Target & exchanged it. I opened the 2nd one at the counter and sure enoguh, it was scratched, too. Then I tried one from another case with the same result. After that, I just said fuck it and got the regular edition, which was of course, perfectly fine.

  16. dcdeveloperx says:

    Mine was scratched but works. When I put the discs back in the case it felt really secure so I dunno if they machines didnt push down hard enough or what.

  17. Miya says:

    @ STARTINGACES: Yeah. Pretty sad that the Regular edition has a better case than the Collector’s and Legacy one. :P

  18. PapaBear434 says:

    That sucks for a lot of people, but I can’t help but chuckle.

  19. Megatenist says:


    Funny you should mention it,but here at my work,there’s was a guy who came up to my desk,and started to discuss how “horrible” and “stupid” Halo 3 was.(Probably because I have a couple of Halo posters on my wall and a screen saver.)

    I’m sure it was a coincidence that he was wearing a Heavenly Sword T-shirt….

  20. Uriel says:

    I’ve played videogames all my life (I’ll be 22 on Oct.1), and I’ll have to admit, I’ve never played 1 minute of “Halo”. Just doesn’t look interesting to me. The entire aspect of playing online against people, really doesn’t seem sensational to me one bit. I guess it just never caught on as something I’d care to do, and or, ever play a game, be it against a computer, or against people from Japan, with any form of “packet-loss” whatsoever. Doesn’t seem worth it. I donno, maybe I’m odd.

  21. Rondogg says:


  22. Buran says:

    This is common for box sets, to the point that Amazon now warns you that DVDs in box sets may be loose.

    I bought all five seasons of Babylon 5 as they came out in box sets, plus the movies, and every single box rattled on removal from the shipping box, but there were no playback problems. Not all scratches cause read errors, so don’t panic.

    If you think you have a damaged disc, use a damp cloth to wipe from the center hole radially outward to the edge of the disc, lightly, to make sure any contaminants are gone and any scratches are as clean as possible.

  23. ZarkSeven says:

    My discs were still attached and fine.

  24. Badboy1979 says:

    Luckily they still play… but like everyone’s already said: It would have been nice not to any an imperfect looking disc :(

  25. edrift101 says:

    Halo 3 is running hot on my system (GPU: 55 C, CPU: 47 C). I have a feeling that scratched DVDs are just the tip of the iceberg.

    It’ll be interesting to see how many people have Ring of Death problems/issues in the next day or two.

  26. y2julio says:

    @LowerHouseMember: Hi Mr. Troll. How are you doing.

  27. y2julio says:

    @landu13: Did you even BOTHER to read the f**king article?? This has to do with the game media. Read the articles before you open you damm mouth and start blabbing on stupid nonsense that has nothing to do with the article.

  28. LowerHouseMember says:

    @y2julio: You’re right, I’m just trolling. I couldn’t possibly be speaking from personal experience here. I’ll take care next time before I insult the perfect magical wonderbox 360.

  29. I was in line last night for 4 hours waiting on my legendary edition. The game shop manager told us to bring our scratched game disc back to his store and he would replace it. If it was a bonus disc we’d have to deal with MS. He also heard that MS was shipping out entirely new units as opposed to just the disc.

  30. y2julio says:

    @LowerHouseMember: Label it as such. Not like the blanket statement you gave. I own 23 games on my 360. NONE of them have been scratched by the 360.

  31. tcolberg says:

    So what? It’s not like the game was bad or it caused the consumer harm. The limited edition packaging wasn’t able to stand up to the rigors of shipping– big whoop. The discs are still playable and MSFT already has a replacement program, meaning that people can send their discs back at their leisure. Even the bit about WalMart not wanting to open up all of their Halo 3 for the guy, though frustrating for the concerned, is somewhat understandable. The whole story is mildly interesting, and that’s all it is.

  32. LowerHouseMember says:

    @y2julio: I own the 360 and I like it, but sorry that I’m not bending over backwards to defend its honor whenever it gets talked about online. The point is that discs are going to get scratched at some point whether they came packaged that way or not. As long as the game still works, what’s the problem?

  33. TechnoDestructo says:


    As long as Halo players are busy with Halo and stay away from Team Fortress, I’m happy.

  34. AcidReign says:

        My son reports that his Gamestop copy of H3 is playing fine. I’ll be lucky if I can pry him away from his 360 to eat dinner, tonight!

  35. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Megatenist: I liked that game better when it was called “God of War.”

    Someone along the supply chain fucked up pretty good, but luckily the consequences aren’t significant.

  36. kidwei says:

    @Megatenist: Where are you working where you have Halo posters on the wall and guys are walking around wearing videogame t-shirts? I’d probably get sent home for that. ;)

  37. DarthSensei says:

    I just picked up my regular edition pre-order at Best Buy and they were opening a huge stack, at least 50 of these, looking at the discs. I remarked that the pre-order folks must’ve been irritated and the depressed supervisor said, “Sir, these are the pre-orders.”

    How many of these screw ups can Microsoft endure?

  38. ViperBorg says:

    It was just the extras DVD. And it’s only the Collectors copy. The standard and Legendary editions are unaffected.

  39. 02J says:

    @ViperBorg: It was just the extras DVD. And it’s only the Collectors copy. The standard and Legendary editions are unaffected.


    Both discs in the CE are attached the exact same way so it’s a gamble. In my box the extra disc stayed on but the game is scratched up.

  40. warf0x0r says:

    If it hasn’t been already said, defective media can be exchanged. The vendor will be able to return it to the publisher as defective.

  41. 02J says:

    @warf0x0r: That works if you bought in the store. I ordered from Amazon for convenience. Now at the very least I have to box the thing up and ship it back, defeating the entire purpose.

  42. Trai_Dep says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Team Fortress Forever!

    (hmm, that sounds hauntingly familiar for some reason…)

  43. 02J says:

    @tcolberg: Oh shut up. It’s simple, when you buy something new you expect it in pristine condition. Just because it “works” doesn’t negate that fact.

  44. umrain says:

    “*BONUS FEATURE: Each Collectors Edition Disc has been personally scratched by Master Chief himself.”

  45. enm4r says:

    @02J: Legendary were supposed to come in two DVD cases…I haven’t seen reports of this changing.

    That said, my cheapo version is protected, and that’s all I care about. Now if only I could get off work early for it.

  46. Megatenist says:

    I’m a sale rep for a certain computer manufacturer:)

    Our dress code is pretty lax.

  47. msthe8r says:

    I read this story this morning. When I picked up my son’s Collectors Edition this afternoon, I started to tell the guy at my local Gamestop what I’d read, and he finished my sentence for me. He had my son open it, found it scratched, and pulled the disc from a regular copy and replaced it on the spot. He put it in a paper sleeve to protect it too. Happy consumer, here.

  48. Topcat says:

    Who cares that the disc’s scratched? It still costs 60-70 clams and takes only 6 hours (of boring rehashed environments plucked right from the first game and stilted cutscenes) to get through.

    Luckily Bungie added a feature that overwrites your single-player progress when you start an online co-op game, so you have to complete it again anyways! Even with the great online multiplayer, this game is definitely not worth what they’re charging for it. I feel ripped off even worse than when I bought Halo 2. Of course, YMMV.

  49. Anonymous says:


    Dude, you don’t even need to read the article, the fracking TITLE says all you need to know.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I have been on the phone with Microsoft technical support for several hours now and found out that the “Free Replacement” plan is not free at all. For all of us lucky enough to have discovered this amazing BONUS feature of the Limited Edition, Microsoft expects us to pay for the shipping of their blunder, in addition to having to wait an additional two weeks (on top of the several hours in line at midnight with screaming eleven-year-olds) for the replacement disks. When I specifically requested that I receive the replacement disks before shipping the damaged ones the only reasonable response was “that is not how the system works”. Now each copy of the Limited Edition comes with a “Security Device” label with a specific serial number for the disks. When I suggested that the Serial number be used in place of having to send in my disks beforehand I received the same response. This policy is completely unacceptable I seek an alternative resolution; legal if needed (at least to scare Microsoft into changing their policy).

    All I want is what I was being advertised and paid for, a brand new MINT CONDITION copy of Halo 3.

    How do we make this happen?

  51. G-Dog says:

    I was working at a Gamestop when Halo 2 launched, and the exact same thing happened then to! It was the limited edition version, and the extra disc came stacked on top of the regular one. Quite a few ended up scratched.

  52. STrRedWolf says:

    Visited a Best Buy where I was picking up an 16Gb iPod Touch. Had a few kids there picking up a copy of Halo 3 in the tin… and the kids are on top of it. They opened it up, checked the disks, and saw the scratched one. Best Buy, to their credit, replaced the entire tin.

  53. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    @landu13: Did you even BOTHER to read the f**king article?? This has to do with the game media. Read the articles before you open you damm mouth and start blabbing on stupid nonsense that has nothing to do with the article.

    No need to be quite so harsh — dial it back a notch, please.

  54. bluegus32 says:

    @Nero Diavolo: Not just odd, sir, but sick in the head. I kid I kid.

    Actually, playing online is a fantastically fun experience

    Also, Halo rules. Try it before you bash it. You might be surprised.