'Gears Of War 3' Midnight Launch Plans Detailed

Gears of War 3

Microsoft's biggest exclusive of the year, "Gears of War 3," is finally hitting stores next Tuesday, and to celebrate the event, the company has a few midnight shindigs planned across the globe featuring giveaways, celebrity guests and, predictably, a lot of game stations.

New York City seems to be getting the biggest launch event, complete with a performance from Big Sean, who was nominated for Best New Artist at this year's VMAs. There will also be a live episode of GameTrailers TV shot at the event, which will take place at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square. Microsoft held a similar event at the same location to celebrate last year's launch of "Halo: Reach."

There will also be a number of celebrations taking place at Microsoft Stores across the US. Internationally, events are planned in the UK, Mexico, Canada, Singapore and Australia, where those down under will get a jump on the rest of the world thanks to their convenient time zone.

In case you're unable or unwilling to attend one of these launch events, Microsoft is still offering something for those who simply start playing "Gears of War 3" in the first week. Playing an Xbox Live match between September 20 and September 26 will unlock the gold lancer and gold hammerburst weapon skins for use in multiplayer. Those skins will also be unlocked if you already have them for use in "Gears of War 2."

Originally the plan was to include the gold gnasher shotgun as part of that first-week campaign, but that skin is now exclusive to those who have unlocked the Veteran Gear achievement in "Gears of War 2." Appropriate, given that the only people that can use the gnasher shotgun with any effectiveness are those who have played a crapton of "Gears of War."