Microsoft is reporting that sales for its much hyped game, Halo 3, generated $170 million during the first 20 hours of its release. Not only does this top the $125 million sales record set by Halo 2, but it also surpasses the opening-day US box office record of $59.8 million set by Sony’s “Spider-Man 3” in May. In fact, Halo 3 made more money in 24 hours than Spider-Man 3 made during its three-day opening-weekend ($151 million).

So far, more than 1 million players have logged on the play the networked Xbox Live version of Halo 3.

The game is expected to give a huge boost to the Xbox 360. Lately, the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii has been a thorn in the side of both Microsoft and Sony.