There aren't too many ways to describe the launch of "Battlefield 1943" other than clusterf*ck, so we'll just go with that. I played right when the game launched with little-to-no problems, but once more and more people starting signing on the servers quickly hit capacity and everyone was just left helplessly hitting "Join Game" with little to no effect. Last night at around 11PM EST things seemed to get more manageable, I was able to get into a game with friends on my first try, but that first day was a mess.
Despite all the issues, a lot of people still played that first day. According to EA's ongoing forum post detailing the tech efforts to get the game fixed, 29.45 years (or 258,153.19 hours) of gameplay were experienced. Hopefully that doesn't count the time you spent sitting the menu.
More pertinent, though, was that over 5 million kills were counted. The kill count matters 'cause when your chosen platform's global kill count hits 43 million kills, the fourth map, Coral Sea, will be unlocked. No one really had a sense how long this would take, but lets do some simple math to figure it out.
Factoring in the relative install bases, lets say 3 million of those kills were on Xbox 360. Considering the popularity of Xbox Live vs. PSN for playing games online that may be low, but we'll be conservative. The kill count clock for Coral Sea starts today, so if that number remains constant, 43 million kills will be reached in just over 2 weeks on the 360. For the PS3 it's around 3 weeks.
BUT factor in that the game launched mid-week, and probably lost half the number of interested players to server issues and you're looking at much higher numbers to come. My bet is that, by next Friday, 43 million will be hit on the 360. PS3's a bit harder to judge, but once the numbers start coming on the main "Battlefield 1943" site it should be a lot easier to determine. Hooray arithmetic!