Gears of War 3 pre-orders top a million already

Just as the Gears of War 3 beta test ended a couple days ago, Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb announced on his blog that Gears 3 has topped over one million pre-orders, reaching the one million mark quicker than Halo: Reach or any other Xbox exclusive title.

"Today," Major Nelson wrote, "Microsoft and Epic Games announced Gears of War 3 surpassed one million worldwide pre-orders, making it the fastest pre-ordered Xbox exclusive title to reach this milestone in the history of the platform."

Major Nelson also shared some other interesting numbers from the Gears of War 3 beta, which ended on May 16. In roughly a month, gamers racked up 927 million kills and played enough online matches to last 249 years if played consecutively.

There have been 435,000 people who have unlocked the exclusive Thrashball Cole skin to use in the full retail version of Gears 3 when it is released on September 20. There were also 234,000 people who unlocked the exclusive Gold Retro Lancer to also use in the full game in September.

Gears of War 3 will be the final installment to the Gears trillogy, which has sold over ten million copies thus far. The game picks up after the fall of Jacinto, the last human city, and follows Marcus Fenix, the hero of the series, as he tries to protect his world from the deadly Locust horde and a new breed of terror: the Lambeth.

Up until this point, the Gears series has only allowed up to two-player co-op, but gamers will have the opportunity to play a four-person co-op mode. The game will also feature a new "Horde"-like mode called "Beast" mode, in which players can attack the humans as Locusts.

Gears of War 3 is set to be released in three different editions (standard, Limited, and Epic) for $60, $80, and $150 respectively.