We'll have to wait until spring 2007 at the earliest to get our hands on beta versions of Halo 3, but not everyone has to - with US soldiers in Iraq given the chance to go hands-on with an early version over the Christmas break.
According to reports (complete with photos and even two short videos), Bungie flew over copies of the multiplayer beta to help the troops feel a bit less rubbish about missing Christmas on account of, you know, that.
Microsoft has yet to comment on the reports, but they're pretty widespread, and the response has been mostly positive. "First of all, it's about damn time our soldiers get stuff like this!!! They risk their lives for us!!!" wrote an excitable fan over at 1UP.
"Second: every video game company should do this!!! Third: Thanks to the US Armed Forces, thank you for fighting for the freedom of the United States!!!"
No doubt you'll want to share similar sentiments! Feel free. After all, it used to be Christmas.