The sequel to the world's best-selling video game went on sale at midnight.
Last November, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" made entertainment history with blockbuster sales. The latest label, "Call of Duty: Black Ops," is expected to perform similarly well.
"I'm gonna blow people's heads off," said one young fan perusing the racks at a GameStop in New York's Herald Square. "I'm going to be the best in the whole game."
It's likely he'll have some competition – especially if "Black Ops" sells as well as the previous installment, which generated more than a billion dollars in sales.
"I'm one of the original gamers," one man said after he negotiated a deal to trade older games for a copy of the newest version. "I started with 'Pong' when I was a kid."
"Call of Duty" is a little more ambitious than "Pong," the two-dimensional monochrome table tennis simulation. Players are supposed to be Cold War-era CIA operatives trying to track down Soviet weapons using custom weapons.
"All the little gadgets and all the little things that you have in the game" is what the "Pong" fan said he liked about "Call of Duty." "Every game you can shoot. This one gives you something a little different, something a little bit more advanced."
Retailers are hoping to cash in on the game's popularity. GameStop hosted a release party beginning at 9:30 p.m. in more than 4,000 of its stores. About 700 Best Buy stores opened at midnight so gamers can pick up the first copies.
"This is the hottest release of the year, " said Chris Homeister, senior vice president at Best Buy.
When Activision Blizzard Inc.'s "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" was released last year, it brought in the biggest-ever sales total on its first day. In its first five days, it made a whopping $550 million in worldwide sales.
"Black Ops," will be the seventh installment in the "Call of Duty" series and will also be available in 3-D for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions of the game.