TNW Quick Hit:

The popular Gears of War franchise has lost none of its commercial viability. News broke today that demonstrates this: Gears of War 3 has stacked up some 1 million pre-orders thus far, making it, according to Major Nelson, the “Fastest Pre-Ordered Title in Platform History.”

Eat your heart out, Halo.

But that is perhaps not the most impressive single statistic. The beta for the game has been a crushing success on its own. A huge 1.29 million gamers played some 11 million multiplayer matches during the beta. Other stats, as reported by Microsoft, include:

- 145 different countries participated in the beta
- 249 years worth of matches played
- More than 11 million matches completed
- More than 927 million kills recorded
- More than 131 million executions performed
- More than 23 million deaths by chainsaw
- Nearly 23 BILLION bullets fired
- 4.9 billion ribbons and 291M medals earned
- 435K people earned the Beta exclusive Thrashball Cole skin to use in the retail game when it launches in September
- 234K people earned the Beta exclusive Gold Retro Lancer to use in the retail game when it launches in September

We promised to cover the Xbox platform more, and as we have begun to do so we have become impressed with the sheer momentum that its ecosystem can generate. Gears of War 3, an Xbox exclusive, is shattering records for all console games, even those available on multiple platforms.

Of course, the Gears franchise is arguably the most popular for the console, rivaling the perennial classic Halo, which helped with much of the Xbox world’s success. Sound off in the comments: have you picked up a copy, and if so, why?