Bungie yesterday said that it is in no rush to start talking about Halo: Reach what with Halo 3: ODST yet to ship.
"Obviously right now what we're excited about is the impending launch of ODST, so we don't want to totally start talking about next year's model before this one's even off the assembly line," community lead Brian Jarrard explained in answer to a fan's question about Reach gameplay footage during the Penny Arcade Expo ODST panel.
"But there is a beta that's coming next year, so all you've got to do is sit tight. If you want to be part of Reach from the very beginning then you want to make sure you keep an ODST disc handy," he added.
The firm also reiterated that DLC for ODST is unlikely. "There's no current plans right now for DLC for ODST," senior designer Lars Bakken said in answer to another question. "That could change, but uh..."
"I think what Lars really meant to say was," Jarrard took over, winning a laugh from the huge crowd, many of whom had to queue for over 45 minutes to get their seats, "the team's working really hard on another really huge game coming out next fall [Reach]." We think Jarrard went on to say that DLC may be "a consideration down the road" depending on the success of Firefight, but the tape's a bit garbled by hooting Halo fanboys so we can't be sure.
As for the rest of the panel, an eight-strong group including Marty O'Donnell and Joe Staten enjoyed taking the piss out of one another as they talked about the development of ODST, which is out on 22nd September, and specifically how they fleshed out the New Mombasa night-time setting with cues from film noir.
There was also much ribbing about getting rid of the battle rifle, previews of some of O'Donnell's lovely music, and some cool footage of Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, Nolan North and Tricia Helfer recording their dialogue. Upload plz.
Halo 3: ODST is playable at PAX, mainly in the co-operative Firefight mode, for which there will be 10 maps shipping with the game this month. Check out our recent Halo 3: ODST hands-on to find out why the whole thing's shaping up to be rather awesome.