The Xbox One X does wonders for Halo 3. Splashed onto a big 4K telly by Microsoft's ultra-powerful new console, Bungie's decade-old first-person shooter looks better than most shooters released today. I dipped back into Halo 3 while waiting for bigger, well, massive modern games to download onto the Xbox One X's 1TB hard-drive, and Master Chief did a merry dance to my plucked nostalgia-coated heartstrings.
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Halo 5 will support true 4k resolution on Xbox One X, developer 343 Industries has announced.
Amid the seemingly relentless shutdown of fan projects by big publishers, here's one game that's not just thriving but has the blessing of its IP-owning overlord.
The Xbox 360 turned 10 this week, and we've been reminiscing about the wonderful console each day with articles about its influence, its best games and even its dashboard. Now though, it's time for something a little different. It's time to go behind the scenes.
I was already pretty into achievements by the time it got around to Halo 3. I'd be the annoying friend that needed to recover their gamertag before playing split-screen on your console, rather than miss out on the occasional 10G. Do you remember how frustrating it was to watch somebody actually do that? Slowly typing their awful my-first-password as you waited to crack on with some Left 4 Dead. Yeah, that was me. Sorry. I'm different now.
Passing out isn't something people are meant to do very often - or at all, in fact - not that you'd know it from video games. Game protagonists, seemingly, like nothing more than sparking out for a while and then coming to later. I've been rendered unconscious twice in my life and I can't say either was a particularly fun experience, but that's certainly not stopping the games industry - Metal Gear Solid 5 made the latest contribution to the proud tradition just this week, in fact.
I have spent hundreds of hours playing Halo 3, and I'd rank Bungie's trilogy-capping blockbuster in my top five of the last console generation. I know it with an obscene intimacy, from the inside out - its feel, its weapons, the intricacies of its physics and geometry. I have absorbed the game in some essential, comprehensive way, and yet I cannot pull from memory a single certain moment from its story campaign.
Marty O'Donnell's battle with former employer Bungie continues. Now a judge has ordered the Halo and Destiny developer must return shares to the celebrated composer.
Halo and Destiny developer Bungie must pay $95,019 (around £56k) to former composer Marty O'Donnell, a US court has decided.
Some seven years after Halo 3's release in 2007, its final secret has been unearthed - a cute Easter egg only attainable on a certain date wishing happy birthday to one of the developer's partners.
Microsoft will release Halo: The Master Chief collection for Xbox One later this year, according to a new report.
Microsoft's free Xbox 360 game programme Games with Gold will now run indefinitely, the company has announced.
Veteran Bungie developer Joe Staten has announced his departure from the company.
Sci-fi author and former writer and story consultant for Microsoft Game Studios, Eric Nylund, has joined up with Amazon Game Studios as its new director of narrative design.
As previously rumoured, Microsoft has just announced a new, sleeker version of the Xbox 360. It'll be available from today - at least in North America.
We'll check on European availability when all the hubbub has died down.
Microsoft also revealed a new offer for Xbox Live Gold subscribers - you'll now get two free game downloads per month, similar to Sony's existing PlayStation Plus service.
A mysterious Halo-related project entitled Bootcamp has surfaced on the Korean Rating Board.
District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is still keen on making a movie based on Halo - but only if given control over it.
Microsoft has poured cold water on reports that suggested Halo 3 will be released on PC.
Update: In addition to the daily deals there are a collection of week-long deals. They've been dug up by the handsome people of NeoGAF.
We've all got lost in games. I don't mean that we've become so engrossed that external factors cease to matter - toast burns, cats starve, love falters, etc - although if you're reading this site then that's probably true as well. I mean we've gotten lost in games. It used to be a common complaint, in fact, that games spun you around or suddenly stopped saying new things and it would take ages to figure out what you were expected to do.
Update: It looks like Halo isn't coming after all.
Bungie's new game, Destiny, is still quite like Halo, according to someone who's apparently seen it in action.
343 Industries, the developer charged with continuing the Halo franchise now Bungie has left it behind, isn't ready to show the world Master Chief's face.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney is writing music with former Halo developer Bungie, he's confirmed.
There have been 67 million Xbox 360s sold around the world, and 19 million Kinects, Microsoft has revealed.
PlayStation 3 has sold 63.9 million units worldwide.
Microsoft's chief Xbox marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi revealed the numbers in a company blog post.
UPDATE: The BBC has responded to its broadcast of a Halo logo during Thursday's News at One, admitting its mistake and apologising to viewers.
Bungie has closed its support for Halo stats and released a new infographic that shows just how popular the first-person shooter series has been.
It's a big year for Bungie. Not only does it celebrate its 20th birthday but, with the impending release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, it's also formally signing off custodianship of Master Chief to 343 Industries.
The Xbox Live Enforcement team is "moving into a realm where we're applying more automation to the process" of policing gamers.
Microsoft has admitted losing its way with Halo following the release of Halo 3 in September 2007.
Bungie has bid an emotional farewell to the Halo universe it created ten years ago.
Oopsy daisy! With just over two hours to go until its E3 press conference, Microsoft has – apparently by mistake - published a series of major announcements on Xbox.com – including news that "Halo 4 is on the way".
The information, images of which can be seen below, has since been removed, but in addition to Halo, Dance Central 2, Kinect Sports Season 2 and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary were all outed. Surprise!
Xbox.com described Halo 4 as "the news millions of Halo fans have waited for", while the long-awaited Halo HD remake is described as: "The epic game that launched a universe, remastered for a new generation".
Microsoft is marking the Halo franchise's 10th birthday with a lavish 192-page hardback art book.
Microsoft will mark Halo's 10th anniversary with Halo Fest, a three day event taking place during the annual Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle this August.
Billed as "the largest and most expansive live Halo experience ever" over on Halo Waypoint, you can expect tournaments, exclusive panels and prizes.
Could it also see a new Halo title announced? Perhaps that rumoured remake of Combat Evolved?
Microsoft will release Halo motion comic The Mona Lisa through Waypoint and the internet next Saturday, 23rd April.
It retells a story from the Halo Evolution anthology, set shortly after the events of Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved.
"Sent on a highly-classified mission in the debris field of the Halo artefact, the crew of the UNSC Red Horse discover a derelict prison ship – the Mona Lisa – adrift in space," reads the official blurb.
For millions of Halo fans the series' iconic monk chant introduction music is instantly recognisable – but it almost didn't happen.
It is a little-known US developer, but it is behind the downloadable content of some of the biggest videogames of this generation.
Microsoft has flashed a cheeky glimpse of Halo 5 to the Channel 4 news team - what happened to Halo 4?
The heavily rumoured Halo: Combat Evolved HD remake is being created by TimeShift developer Saber Interactive, according to a new report.
Bungie deliberately made Halo star Master Chief a man of few words so players would feel more like him.
Microsoft's Halo studio 343 Industries is remaking Halo: Combat Evolved using the Halo: Reach engine, Games Master magazine claims.
In this new series of opinion pieces, some of Eurogamer's favourite writers reveal how they really feel about some of the world's most renowned, or most reviled, videogames.
Microsoft remains adamant that a Halo movie will be made at some point – and it may even fund production itself.
A former Bungie developer has claimed that Apple was on the verge of buying the Halo developer just before Microsoft did back in the late nineties.
Microsoft's purchase of Bungie back in 2000 made Steve Jobs so angry that a special deal had to be brokered to appease the aggrieved Apple despot.
Affable Xbox 360 mouthpiece Aaron Greenberg has stirred things up ahead of next week's traditional Sony vs. Microsoft E3 battle by claiming that Halo 3 sales are more than most of Sony's first-party line-up put together.
Activision has signed Bungie in a mammoth 10-year publishing deal. The publisher will have worldwide rights to "bring Bungie's next big action game universe to market".
Microsoft has defended the Xbox Live Games on Demand version of Halo 3 that went on sale earlier this week.
Halo 3 will be released digitally on Xbox Live's Games on Demand service on 20th April.
Halo 3: ODST's Mythic 2 Map Pack will be available to all Halo 3 owners from Xbox Live on 2nd February.
Halo developer Bungie has announced plans to raise money for the relief effort in Haiti following last week's catastrophic earthquake.
The studio has said that it will divert 100 per cent of profits on merchandise sold through its online store to the American Red Cross.
Gamers have also been invited to play Halo 3 or Halo 3: ODST online this Wednesday and Thursday while wearing a special emblem to signify their support. For every 1000 gamers who do, Bungie will donate $100, up to a maximum of $77,000.
Halo 3 was the most popular game on Xbox Live in 2009, but spots 2-4 in the list were occupied by the last three Call of Duty games.
Upcoming Xbox Live destination Halo Waypoint will be broken in two sections, one focusing on Intel and the other on Career.
Around 2.5 million people have snapped up Halo 3: ODST in the two weeks since it was released.
That's according to USA Today, which also reports the expansion pack has generated over $125 million in sales and brought the total number of Halo games sold to 27 million.
But what about the rest of the Halo franchise? Any sign of that movie? "We're being very careful to pick the right time and the right partner," said creative director Frank O'Connor. No, then.
Steven Spielberg is in negotiations to develop a Halo movie, according to a report by IESB.
Microsoft has said Peter Jackson's Halo project isn't in the bin after all - it's just "on hold".
Peter Jackson has confirmed the Halo project he first announced nearly three years ago is in the bin.
Microsoft's new Halo destination for Xbox Live, Halo Waypoint, is intended to "aggregate everything that you would want to watch from the Halo universe", but it's also "a lot more ambitious than that".
Good news, Halo buffs - Microsoft is launching a new "destination" on Xbox Live especially for you.
Microsoft is working on a series of seven short anime films titled Halo Legends.
The earth-shattering arrival of Killzone 2 earlier this year had serious ramifications for Microsoft's reputation for hosting the most technologically advanced shooters on console. Its answer: ODST, a brand new FPS set in the Halo universe but separate and apart from the super-soldier heroics of the iconic Master Chief.
Microsoft has updated the rules regarding the total amount of Achievements and gamerscore that Xbox 360 games can award to players.
Microsoft has told Eurogamer there are no announcements to make regarding the Xbox 360 Elite Game of the Year bundle heading to Europe.
Microsoft may be expanding the Halo series to mobile phones, if a recent job posting is to be believed.
Bungie has told Eurogamer there really are "no plans" for new Halo 3 content beyond Halo 3: ODST after all.
Bungie has promised to work on Halo 3 for "probably" two more years.
Microsoft has officially confirmed release dates for the Xbox 360 Left 4 Dead Survival Pack (21st April), Halo 3 Mythic Map Pack (9th April) and Gears of War 2 Snowblind Map Pack (31st March), even though we knew at least one of those already. The L4D pack is also due out for PC, presumably around the same time.
UPDATE: It's been pointed out by many, many people that 9th April is the release date for the Mythic Map Pack for Halo 3. So it's probably that, as announced by Microsoft this lunchtime. The three-map pack had previously only been available to people who bought Halo Wars, which is why we didn't think of it. Mondays should be banned.
Microsoft has announced the addition of three new titles to the Xbox 360 Classics range.
Microsoft has coughed up an undisclosed amount of money to tech firm PalTalk, settling a lawsuit over the Halo games.
The number of Halo 3 matches played online has now reached one billion, according to a post on Bungie.net.
Bungie has said all downloadable Halo 3 maps will be included with ODST later this year, including the upcoming Mythic map pack and the three exclusive expansion levels.
Bungie has no plans to create any DLC for Halo 3: ODST, as the developer views the expansion as "the final exclamation point" of its efforts to stretch the iconic brand.
Microsoft has announced the third map in the upcoming Halo 3 Mythic Map Pack, which also ships as part of the Halo Wars collector's edition later this month.
In a fit of festive good cheer, in no way inspired by self-promotion, Microsoft has released figures for the most played Live and Live Arcade titles of 2008.
Sumthing Else Music Works and Microsoft have decided stuff all of the Halo music onto a massive compilation soundtrack.
The forthcoming expansion pack for Halo 3 has been given a new name.
When it was unveiled at TGS last month, the expansion was titled Halo 3: Recon. But now, according to the Gamerscore blog, it's been retitled Halo 3: ODST. Trips off the tongue. Or, as Tom put it, "sounds like an ear infection".
There is a reason for the change, of course; ODST stands for Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Many of them will feature in the expansion pack formerly known as Recon; they drop into the ruined city of New Mombasa, looking for clues about the Covenant's attack.
Bungie has explained why load times increase when Halo 3 is installed to an Xbox 360 hard drive.
Ensemble Studios has revealed that the Halo MMO it was developing for Microsoft wasn't just a prototype - it had been green-lit for production.
Bungie has said the reference to 'Maddie' in the teaser trailer for the studio's next Halo project is an "unfortunate coincidence" to that of missing five year-old Madeleine McCann.
Speculation is mounting that the new trailer for Bungie's next Halo project features a reference to missing five year-old Madeleine McCann.
The trailer, released yesterday, has since been the subject of widespread analysis on the internet, as reported by Videogaming247.
Apparently the message "MADDIE, WHERE ARE YOU?" appears in three frames of the video. A debate has now kicked off over whether this is a reference to the missing girl, who disappeared in May 2007.
Bungie has ended our waiting and released a teaser trailer for a Halo 3 project.
The footage shows pods crashing down into a ruined city from space, witnessed through the digital vision of a robot. Or helmet.
The computer screen then blips to the phrases from the countdown site earlier, with "please stay calm" and "keep it clean" standing out. Perhaps these are commands for robot behaviour, or ways to keep panicked city dwellers in line during emergencies. Is this the mysterious Superintendent character? Or perhaps a brand of robot?
Bungie may finally be ready to announce the Halo project that was dropped suddenly from the Microsoft E3 presentation in July.
Bungie will be rolling out the second title update for Halo 3 today.
This introduces 10 new Achievements totalling 250 Gamerpoints, plus a new playlist rating that shows how good you are in individual playlists, rather than your global Trueskill rating. Don't panic; nothing is being taken away, only added.
Accidentally, the official Xbox site has also uncovered an additional 20 Achievements for what seem to be the additional maps planned for later this year.
Ensemble Studios may have been secretly working on a Halo MMO for Microsoft.
Microsoft has begun looking for brainy people to join its Halo Studio and build "an engine that will power future experiences for the next generation of gaming platforms".
Bungie has revealed a portion of the Achievements due to arrive in the second Halo 3 title update later this month.
The internet has spotted what appears to be a leaked list of upcoming Achievements for Halo 3.
Bungie lifted the lid on Halo 3 map Assembly during last weekend's Penny Arcade event in the US.
Brothers in Arms developer Gearbox Software is in discussions about the next instalment in the Halo series, according to a post on the Variety blog.
Most big, modern games are, of necessity, a team effort - so much so that it's often hard to ascribe any particular part of the experience to one person. In the Halo series, for instance, all manner of people contributed to the games, and for the most part, you'd be hard pressed to pick out a great moment and say, "this person made this". It's a team effort. Everyone's fingers are in all sorts of pies, and every pie has all sorts of fingers in it.
It's been a while since we last did this - just over four months in fact - so it seems like a good time to dip back into Microsoft's Game Store to see if anything of interest has been added. This won't be a complete list of every new bit of downloadable content released since April, but rather a closer look at the bits and pieces that caught our eye - whether it's for all the right, or all the wrong, reasons.
As always, we'll be breaking down the cost of each item in real money so you can gauge the relative value of your precious Microsoft Points, and also giving you the lowdown on what you get for your outlay and whether it's worth the effort.
Ninja Gaiden 2
Bungie's lead AI programmer, Damian Isla, has said he's keen to take a few tips from Infinity Ward and Call of Duty 4.
Bungie is playing bad cop with users who upload naughty porn pictures and share them amongst the Halo 3 community.
More than three months after the first job ad appeared, Microsoft is still seeking a creative director for a new Halo project.
The next big step for artificial intelligence in games will be making a character walk up to a table and pick up a pencil.
Microsoft's very own Mr Halo has told Eurogamer that Bungie's series could soon be getting its own dedicated event to rival the likes of BlizzCon and QuakeCon.
With a spin-off RTS game, multiple novels and an expanding range of figurines all on show this week at Comic Con 2008, Microsoft has insisted that its strategy is to "explore not exploit" the Halo universe.
Halo developer Bungie has confirmed that the studio is currently working on at least three new projects, but the team won't be making any big announcements in the near future, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Bungie president Harold Ryan has denied "laughing" when Xbox boss Don Mattrick told him that the studio's latest Halo product would not be shown at E3.
Halo 3 has retaken top spot on the Xbox Live most-played chart after months of dominance for Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Don Mattrick has denied that Bungie was angry about Microsoft's decision to pull the developer's new Halo game from the Xbox 360 E3 press conference.
Bungie boss Harold Ryan has expressed his disappointment at having to hold back revealing what the studio has been working on.
"For the last several months, we've been building toward a reveal of something exciting that Bungie is working on. We were looking forward to sharing that with our fan community during the week of E3. However, those plans were just changed by our publisher," wrote Ryan on the Bungie website.
"We realise that many of our fans are disappointed by this turn of events; members of the Bungie team share that disappointment."
Xbox 360 boss Don Mattrick has confirmed that Bungie is making a new Halo game.
Bungie is celebrating itself today and offering you a bag of Halo 3 goodies for absolutely free.
Bungie has announced that new Halo 3 map Cold Storage will be available on Xbox Live from Monday July 7th. And it won't cost a thing.
Writer Frank O'Connor has said he is quitting Bungie to continue working on the Halo brand at Microsoft.
If you'd said six months ago that Halo 3 would not be the most popular game on Xbox Live in mid-2008, we actually wouldn't have scoffed at you - largely because "scoffing", as far as we're aware, is something only done by characters in Enid Blyton novels - but we'd certainly have expressed utter disbelief. Probably in the form of ridicule. Okay, we'd have scoffed. We'd also have been wrong, because Halo 3's been eclipsed in the online stakes by Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4.
That said, there are still hundreds of thousands playing Halo 3 online every day, so we can't imagine Bungie crying into its diamond-encrusted coffee mugs. Not least because it's busy pumping out new maps, starting with the Heroic Map Pack a few months ago and continuing with today's subject, the Legendary Map Pack.
First things first, the Legendary Map Pack costs 800 Microsoft Points, which means GBP 6.80 or EUR 9.60. For that price, you get three new maps, one of which is totally new, with the other two being updates of maps from earlier Halos.
Microsoft has admitted that it's staffing up for its Halo collaboration with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.
Master Chief has popped the Legendary Map Pack for Halo 3 on Xbox Live.
The Heroic Map Pack for Halo 3 is now available to download for free.
Bungie has said the Halo 3 Legendary Map Pack will go Live on 15th April.
Bungie is treating us to two weekends of double experience and promoting two fresh Halo 3 game-types.
It's not easy for critics to come back to something they liked, or hated, and deal with the division their copy failed to anticipate. But that shouldn't stop us facing up to and exploring differences of opinion. We've tried before, of course, with the infamous BioShock: A Defence, but that wasn't quite the right approach (even if we did enjoy ourselves), so we've come up with something we think is better. In this, the first of our Retrospective pieces on major games of the past 12 months, Oli Welsh and Alec Meer use the hindsight afforded to them by the five months since Halo 3's release and consider the arguments on both sides of the divide. You can read our original Halo 3 review first, if you like, to put it all in context.
Bungie continues to support Halo 3 with new content and auto-updates and, as we heard yesterday, has no intention of letting up. Due out this spring, the Legendary Map Pack will introduce another selection of multiplayer maps, the first of which has been identified as Ghost Town.
Halo 3 hasn't been top of the pops on Major Nelson's Xbox Live activity charts for a little while now, but Bungie plans to fight back.
Bungie has whipped the wrappers off its upcoming map pack by giving us a look at Ghost Town.
Another view of Ghost Town.
As is traditional during big platform holder speeches, Microsoft rolled out lots of big stats during John Schappert's GDC keynote in San Francisco - among the most eye-catching being that over 1 billion Achievements have now been unlocked. This was celebrated with a "BINK!" noise, naturally.
Every now and then, someone pops out of the woodwork to complain that the games industry isn't innovative any more. This is clearly nonsense. Certainly, publishers might have an ongoing love affair with barely distinguishable sequels and a herd mentality that makes sheep look strong-willed, but consider this - year after year, the industry invents new and previously unheard-of ways to make you part with your cash. If that's not innovation, what is?
Download Content (DLC) is a new arrival in the exciting field of wallet-stripping, and the Xbox 360 is on the vanguard. Many Xbox 360 games have content available for download sometime after launch, allowing you to hand over a few measly Microsoft points for access to new maps, models, missions and the likes. It's a great idea in theory, obviously - who doesn't want to extend the life of their favourite game a bit? In practice, though, there's some suspicion about it. Nobody wants to find themselves paying extra money for content that should have been in the game in the first place.
Hence these DLC roundup features, where we'll be looking at the bits and bobs that have made their way onto Xbox Live - and, soon, PSN - in the past few months, and checking out what's worth whipping your card out for, and what deserves to sit, dusty and unloved, in the digital dustbins out the back of the Marketplace.
Microsoft is inviting Halo fans to create videos about Master Chief and win a month in Los Angeles studying at a prestigious film academy.
Nintendo has continued its winning streak in the US, finishing comfortably ahead of opposition for hardware sales in 2007.
Mexican film director Guillermo Del Toro has been getting himself all worked up about a Halo film.
The Halo 3 Heroic Map Pack has gone up on Xbox Live Marketplace, offering three brand new battlegrounds for 800 Microsoft Points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.30).
Our friends at Bungie have been getting excited about some upcoming playlists, which should roll out tomorrow and next Tuesday.
Bungie Studios currently has "no plans" to work on any platforms besides Xbox 360, two of the developer's top men told Eurogamer readers in a LiveText interview this afternoon.
Bungie has shipped out a batch of shots for its imminent Heroic Map Pack, which may or may not feature real life heroes from television series 999.
Doing anything on Friday afternoon? Of course you're not. So why not come along and interview some of the people who made Halo 3?
Microsoft has announced that Halo 3 will receive its first premium downloadable content on 11th December.
Having gotten ourselves excited about Half-Life 2: Episode Two PC stats earlier, it'd be remiss of us not to remark on the stats fed to the world by Bungie on Friday about how people have been doing with Halo 3.
The full soundtrack for Halo 3 will be in shops later this month, which is about as surprising as doing your teeth.
Bungie has rolled out a new feature for its Halo 3 website that lets you see exactly where everyone dies in multiplayer using "heatmaps". Just the thing for a chilly morning where your breath freezes into icicles and you accidentally stab someone I'm in prison.
Bungie studio manager Harold Ryan says that the developer is working on non-Halo games - including one that ran parallel to Halo 3's development - having decided a while ago that it doesn't work if you let one project swamp you completely.
'This is how the world ends, not with a bang but with a whimper'. So ends T. S. Eliot's 1925 poem, The Hollow Men, a sentence also chosen to start and conclude the Halo trilogy's overarching marketing campaign.
It is now dark when we walk home and birds are either dropping out of trees in frozen lumps or going somewhere much nicer for their holidays. And, as always happens, the shops are hoisting their Christmas decorations up and getting us all worried about buying presents because we never know what they want is it socks or aftershave. So, we thought we would join in.
Bungie is getting into the Halloween festivities by letting loose the spooky infection game type onto Halo 3 servers.
If you've ever wondered what Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime makes of the competition, an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle has the answer: he likes the look of LittleBigPlanet, reckons the Halo trilogy is indispensable and thought BioShock was "tremendously well done".
Having heroically declared that all modern games are rubbish just the other week, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell has gone back on his comments to some extent and paid tribute to Tetris, The Sims, Spore, Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero as laudable examples of innovation.
With a poor October box office, some film executives are convinced that Halo 3 has kept movie audiences home, GamesIndustry.biz reports. And not that all their films were bollocks.
Bungie says work on "new maps for future downloadable content" is "progressing".
Tall basketball star Gilbert Arenas has cheated at Halo 3 by playing against dummy accounts to bump his skill level up.
Bungie has quietly introduced a few matchmaking changes for Halo 3 fans.
"Halo 3's Matchmaking Playlists, just like Halo 2's, are dynamic and ever-changing entities," the developer explained on its website.
"Even now in the perilous Bungie towers, we're looking at new hoppers, gametypes and modes to test for future iterations and changes of these playlists."
Microsoft could be preparing a special Halo 3 Premium 360 (HDMI) bundle in time for Christmas.
Bungie is to become an independent company again, Microsoft confirmed today.
Microsoft has revealed that global sales of Halo 3 have reached over USD 300 million in its first week of release, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
And the company claims that according to retail sources, sales of Xbox 360 hardware have more than doubled compared with the weekly average.
"Halo is truly a cultural phenomenon, and the launch of Halo 3 is an important milestone for Xbox 360 and for videogames as entertainment and as an art form," commented Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft.
Halo 3 has taken top honours in the Japanese charts after selling 59,000 copies in its first week on sale, GamesIndustry.biz reports. A far cry from its UK total of 466,000, but pleasing for Microsoft nonetheless.
Halo 3 has become the second fastest selling game in UK chart history, according to Chart-Track, with one in three Xbox 360 owners in the UK buying the Microsoft-published title.
Halo 3 is already the most popular game on 360, according to the amount of unique users playing the game while connected to Live.
Microsoft has distanced itself from rumours that it will be splitting with Halo developer Bungie, claiming it never said anything of the sort.
Bungie has responded to claims that Halo 3 doesn't run in a high-definition resolution by saying saying it's "practically impossible to discern the difference".
Microsoft and Bungie are under fire from Xbox 360 owners experiencing disc-read errors from their new copies of Halo 3.
Bungie has responded to criticism of the quality of the remastered Halo and Halo 2 cinematics in the Legendary Edition box of Halo 3.
Microsoft has declared that Halo 3 enjoyed the "largest entertainment launch in history", doing USD 170 million in sales in USA alone in its first 24 hours.
According to figures Microsoft put in its press release that we're too bored to actually research, that would put it ahead of cinematic releases like the execrable Spider-Man 3 and novels like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And the Meg White sex tape.
"Halo 3 has become a pop-culture phenomenon," said Shane 'Soundbite' Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios.
UK shops have said copies of Halo 3 are selling faster than lovely hot cakes, with Woolworths praising "record breaking" sales, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Numerous retailers around the country looked to capitalise on its popularity by opening at midnight or early this morning, and some are suggesting the game may even beat day one sales for the biggest DVD or CD releases.
"Halo 3 has been flying off the shelves this morning," said Gerry Berkley, trading manager for games at Woolworths.
Microsoft boss Bill Gates has his signature on a limited edition Halo 3 console, which is being sold for charity on eBay.
Last night, Microsoft rolled out the red carpet for Halo 3. The UK launch, held at London's IMAX cinema, was supposed to be just like a movie premiere. It was supposed to show games finally joining the mainstream party, the crowd stepping aside as Master Chief, flanked by pop stars and TV celebrities, led the way to the bar.
It wasn't and it didn't. Games might have joined the party, but they're still standing in the kitchen picking at Pringle crumbs and talking amongst themselves. Master Chief might have been flanked by a pop star, but chances are the pop star barely knew his name and was only there for the beer. The TV celebrity might have been famous for only four months, but it was her the mainstream media were trying to get off with.
There were plenty of Master Chief fans there all the same. They were dedicated enough to stand in the rain outside the IMAX and watch the stars arrive - the stars being Pharrell Williams, Christian Slater and Chanelle off of Big Brother. There were others walking down the red carpet, but they were mostly met with blank looks and shouts of "Who are you?" from the crowd.
Microsoft has made some tweaks to Xbox Live and it should now be up and running.
Update: Microsoft America has issued a statement offering to replace Limited and Essential Edition discs at no charge. The offer runs until the last day of the year. Only those of you in the US, or places where the game is already out, can make use of this.
Halo 3 is due out tomorrow, apparently (they kept that quiet), and as a result we have a new Neill Blomkamp live action film short to admire.
Microsoft has whispered that it will be rewarding Live Gold members with free Halo 3 goodies.
Halo 3 has finally launched in the US, greeted by thousands of consumers desperate to get their hands on the highly-anticipated Xbox 360 title, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
For employees at the GameStop in Folsom, California, one of the 10,000 US retailers opening at midnight, the launch of Halo 3 was just as big as they were expecting.
"Halo 3 is the biggest game ever for reservations in the history of GameStop," said a worker named Brian. "We've already pre-sold more copies than Halo 2, World of Warcraft, or any other big releases."
Let's cut the crap. Cut the platform advocacy, cut the ranting of Internet storm-troopers on behalf of multinational corporations who don't care if they live or die. Cut the agonised wailing and gnashing of teeth over whether something is "game of the year" or just "really good".
Let's cut the crap, and talk about Halo 3, the videogame - not Halo 3, the monumental "event". Let's talk about the next instalment in one of the most likeable and well-crafted science fiction shooter series ever created - the third part of a trilogy which, despite its occasional wrong steps, has held our attention for six years. Let's talk about that.
Microsoft has issued a statement (you have probably already seen) saying you will not be banned from Xbox Live for playing Halo 3 ahead of its official launch next Wednesday.
Microsoft will not penalise Argos for selling a small number of Halo 3 games a week before release, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
High street retailer Argos has broken the Halo 3 street date, and has sold copies of the hugely awaited game to bundles of eagle-eyed customers.
Microsoft is hiring out London's enormous iMax cinema for the launch of Halo 3 next week, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Celebrities like the neatly bearded Jonathan Ross (who provides voice talent for the game) and sought-after music producer Pharrell Williams will be on hand to swan about on the red carpet and add glitz to proceedings.
You're invited to join in by turning up at the iMax on London's South Bank from 6:30pm on Tuesday 25th September for a number of planned events, including a photo exhibition that will later tour key Pearl & Dean cinemas across the UK.
Microsoft will be airing a rather spectacular Halo 3 advert in the UK next Tuesday, in between the Champions League action on ITV.
Microsoft and Bungie have reportedly banned a Halo 3 fan from Xbox Live for more than 7,000 years after he got his hands on the Halo 3 Epsilon test build.
If Microsoft's Halo 3-themed Xbox 360 isn't sufficient to gobble up all your money at GBP 280 a pop when it launches on 26th September...well, you're overpaid. Also, you could spend the run-off on Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Controllers! And green wireless headset!
Bungie has finished making Halo 3 and packed it off to manufacturing, which is good news for those of you who plan to buy it on 26th September.
Scores from some of the biggest and most iconic games around are going to be performed as part of the London Games Festival this year.
Microsoft has skilfully stuck a sticker suggesting a price of GBP 280 (EUR 414) on its Halo 3-themed Xbox 360.
Microsoft has stamped confirmation on the date and price for the Xbox 360 Elite and Halo Special Edition consoles in Australia, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Microsoft believes Halo 3 could sell more in one day than top films have made in their opening weekends.
Microsoft has remained quiet on rumours that another Halo 3 beta test is currently getting under way.
Word spread after keen-eyed Live gamers spotted others playing something called Halo 3 Epsilon, supposedly later confirmed as a new build of the title by an unhelpfully anonymous email.
According to the mysterious note, Epsilon will let you battle across six multiplayer maps, play custom games, enjoy a single co-operative campaign level, use the Forge feature and get to tinker with the full Saved Film functionality.
Pre-orders for Microsoft and Bungie's Halo 3 have surpassed the one million mark in North America, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
The Countdown has begun: In about seven weeks Halo 3 will hit the high streets around the world, and Bungie is moving into PR overdrive in the run-up to its release.
Bungie has finally confirmed that Halo 3 will feature four player co-operative play over Xbox Live and System Link.
The news follows much thumb-twiddling by the developer over what exactly it would be offering the salivating crowds in late September. We are suitably pleased.
Co-operative games will be started by selecting Campaign mode then choosing your type of network. Once you've created a lobby you'll wait for up-to three friends to join, and start once you're happy with the numbers. You can either start from the beginning of a map or from one of your saved checkpoints. It'[s worth noting you can't join once the game is under way.
A Most Wanted list you say? Cripes, whatever next: a Tips and Cheats pamphlet to go with Eurogamer's promotional Pacman Beach Ball cover mount? Still, it's the summer, there are precious few games around and, with an awful lot of new titles coming up towards the end of the year you might quite reasonably want to know which ones to keep an eye on.
Bungie has responded to reports that it's uncertain about whether Halo 3 will have online co-operative elements by saying that a decision has yet to be made.
Bungie appears to be playing down expectations of online co-operative Halo 3. Much as they'd like to do it, Frank O'Connor has reportedly told Electronic Gaming Monthly that they won't sacrifice quality for a bullet-point on the box.
Following last night's sumptuous new Halo 3 trailer and live-action promo (you did watch both, right?), Microsoft sat us down in the alarmingly dark Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica to tour the first level of the single-player campaign. Picking up about a third of the way into the level (they didn't want to spoil anything), it took us through a wooded valley bristling with as much Covenant as flora, before opening onto a river battle involving a Phantom. Ironically, time concerns meant our compere wasn't able to finish the fight - but we still saw plenty.
Microsoft announced a new Halo 3-themed console at its E3 conference earlier this morning.
The special edition unit will go on sale alongside the game this September.
Peter Moore delightedly unveiled the new SKU, which has an "authentic" Spartan green and gold finish and comes with matching wireless controller, 20GB hard drive, Headset, Play & Charge kit, and Halo 3 Gamer pictures and themes.
The most recent update to the Bungie website has revealed two new maps, a vehicle, and armour permutations for Halo 3.
Microsoft has unveiled all of the achievements for Halo 3.
Microsoft has told Eurogamer that the Halo 3 viral marketing campaign we talked about earlier is called "Iris", and has furnished us with more details.
The inevitable viral marketing campaign to promote Halo 3 has begun.
The Halo 3 public multiplayer beta is officially over, and so the countdown begins to the full launch on 26th September.
More than 820,000 of you took part, notching up a considerable 12 million hours of game time - which is apparently equivalent to one person playing solidly for 1400 years. And you know what that means. Yes, you gobbled up over 350 terabytes of data and even shared roughly 580,000 saved films, presumably of you shooting the snot out of your friends.
Microsoft is well chuffed.
The Halo film may be on hold, but those of you looking for some incredibly vague reassurance that things will change in the future need look no further than recent comments made by executive producer Peter Jackson in Eurogamer's "second country", New Zealand.
Crafty coders playing the Halo 3 beta have unearthed references to a four-player co-op mode.
Microsoft soothed angry mobs last night by releasing an update to fix an issue that prevented you from downloading the Halo 3 beta from within Crackdown.
However, be patient, as it could take as long as four hours to download the patch.
Because of all the chaos surrounding the start, Microsoft and Bungie have decided to extend the length of the beta by four days. It will now end on the 10th June, which gives you an extra weekend to get stuck in.
After months of small-talk, Microsoft will finally open the Halo 3 multiplayer beta to the public today.
The proposed switch-on was scheduled for 13:00 GMT, and will last until 07:59 on 7th June. Word has it that those downloading via Crackdown aren't having any luck as yet, though, so Microsoft appears to be having a few teething troubles.
The 951MB download will give you the chance to try out three maps from the game and shoot your mates in the chops, relaying valuable information to developer Bungie about your experience. That is if you've secured a key, of course. And have a Gold Live account. And an Internet connection. And a hard disk. And space on your hard disk. A working Xbox 360 generally helps, too.
Microsoft and Bungie have anounced that Halo 3 will be released in North America on 25th September, with the European release a day later on the 26th.
So you've read the first impressions here. This Beginner's Guide walks you through each of the three new maps, pointing out scenery of note, general level structure and the odd tip that could possibly stem the inevitable early shame of being owned by someone with a gamer tag such as Wank Static. Or Girls Gun Wild. Think of this as a Rough Guide travel journal, relayed by Louis Theurox running around like a headless chicken in an intergalactic warzone.
Before you enter the game you should know the following things. You can pick your language, prioritise players with a good connection speed and also 'veto' any levels - a majority veto from active players will lead to a new map and game type being offered. 3 ranked playlists are available: Rumble Pit, Team Slayer and Team Skirmish. In the 'Social Playlist' Rumble Training and Team Training are available. So, in theory, you can avoid playing with TexasGunSlinga who is abusive, has a shit connection and loves playing the really, really simple map that no one else likes. For the record (and the lawyers), TexasGunSlinga doesn't really exist - we made him up, see?
In case you didn't know, you'll need to use Crackdown as a beta key on 16th May to download the beta which weighs in at 916 Meg. In the meantime, ready yourself for the carnage and enjoy...
Halo 3 eh? The Internet hills are alive with Spartan cries this weekend, as a lucky few get an early hands-on with the beta that everyone's talking about..
First impressions? Familiarity. Well, that and the fact that at 900MB it takes a while to download. When it's finished downloading and you first pick up your pad to play the Halo 3 beta, your first thoughts will probably be that the game looks, and feels, like Halo 2 (and, come to that, the original Halo). The maps feature a visually similar mix of arctic wastes and red sandstone gulches. Your initial payload is the same assault rifle that served so well in the first game. The controls are only subtly different. And the range of play modes is pretty similar to Halo 2. Clearly then, this is another case of combat evolved. That's no bad thing, of course. Indeed it has one key advantage, which is that the first two Halo games were brilliant, especially in multiplayer, and if it ain't broke don't fix it. But it does mean that it takes a while before the various new additions begin to make themselves felt.
Initially, then, you'll probably start playing this like a conventional game of Halo multiplayer. I certainly did, and a load of other players on the beta test clearly did, and the game certainly supports that. If you were to run the game right next to Halo 2 you'd no doubt spot the differences pretty quickly, but your gut reaction will probably be that, in terms of the quality and style of the graphics, it looks the same. Even the HUD, though revised, isn't really meaningfully different. Various play modes make a return, from the ubiquitous Slayer through the likes of Oddball and Crazy King. And the Assault Rifle feels just like it ever has. Picking up the first new weapon - the Brute Spiker, it fires different bullets, but it's difficult to tell what they do. So yeah, familiarity then.
But Bungie has packed a bunch of new stuff in here. While they're only subtly different, the controls, for example, allow you to independently reload dual wielded weapons (by pressing either bumper), and after a bit more time with it, that Brute Spiker starts to feel pretty effective up close. The Brute Spike Grenade is a new type of grenade, that's almost like a cross between the Frag and Plasma: it sticks in your opponent, but it also has a pretty devastating blast radius. Or there's the Machinegun Turret, which you can literally rip from the ground (by pressing B - or you could just shoot it out of the ground and then pick it up). It takes a while to get going, but eventually proves very powerful. Similarly, the Missile Pod was originally designed to be mounted on a vehicle or in the ground so it too slows you down, but it also allows you to lock on to enemies. And while there's only one new vehicle, the two-man Mongoose is focused on fast transport so it proves pretty useful while playing capture the flag.
Halo 3's public multiplayer beta will allow you to play split-screen on one console in addition to all that online tomfoolery.
You'll also be receiving your first look at the "saved films" feature. And then your second, third, fourth, etc.
That's all according to Bungie's latest weekly update, which also adds that split-screen on high-definition screens will be slightly different to what you'd expect.
Bungie admits that it's been pestered quite a lot recently about why the Halo 3 multiplayer beta set to launch in less than a month is just "three short weeks long".
Inevitably, it says it's down to getting the actual game ready. "The number one reason is that the longer we're spending resources taking care of the beta, the less time we're applying what we've learned from it to the final game," says web hero Frank O'Connor in this week's Bungie website update.
"And statistically, three weeks is going to seem like a pretty long time when you look at the hours you log on the game," he adds, confidently.
This week's Bungie website update has revealed more information about special equipment in Halo 3.
Halo 3's multiplayer beta will go live on 16th May at 1pm GMT and run until 7th June at 7.59am GMT, Microsoft said this morning.
You're promised a look at "new levels, weapons, vehicles and game types, as well as a chance to provide valuable data that [developer] Bungie will use in continued development".
The maps available will be Snowbound, High Ground and Valhalla, while you'll get to pootle around in the Mongoose all-terrain vehicle, using the new Assault Rifle, the Brute Spiker, the Spartan Laser and Spike Grenades to take one another out.
The artificial intelligence of your enemies in Halo 3 exceeds that of previous games in the series by some considerable distance, reckons Bungie web hero Frank O'Connor.
Bungie's latest Halo 3 update reveals that the developer has been toying with depth-of-field effects, but has ultimately decided not to make a big deal of them for gameplay reasons.
Bloggers got weak at the knees with excitement yesterday as an eBay auction with official ties seemed to point towards the existence of Halo 4, but Bungie has squashed these rumours, saying it's nothing but a "sad clunker of a gag".
Halo 3 will be released for Xbox 360 this autumn.
Microsoft's Phil Spencer has advised gamers not to get overexcited about the Halo 3 multiplayer beta this spring, despite heavy promotion in the media.
"It isn't really a tease," he told MTV recently. "People should expect a pretty robust experience when they're playing. Don't call it a demo."
His comments came to light as Bungie starts to open up a bit more about the beta, with a list of frequently asked questions now up on its official site, explaining things like how the Crackdown-related invites will work.
Bungie's latest Halo 3 update introduces a rather intriguing new function bound to the back button of the Xbox 360 pad. It sounds excellent.
It's probably tattooed onto Peter Moore's face, but Halo 3's release later this year will be big. Bigger than all of us. Bigger than Tom's credit card bill. And as with the very biggest games, the information drip-feed would torture even Jack Bauer into confessing that, yes, he prefers the Xbox 360 to the PS3.
Attention soldiers, it's time for more information from the frontlines of Halo 3 development, as another weapon update populates the Bungie website.
This time our reticules are set on the Spartan Laser, known by us professionals as the M6 G/GNR. Crucial information tells us it weighs in at a hefty 19.07 kg, has a muzzle velocity of 299792458 m/s and a unit replacement cost of cR. 2180000.00 - which apparently is quite a lot.
In more realistic terms it's a heavy and powerful weapon that's slow to fire. Acting mainly as an anti-vehicle weapon, it requires a three-second charge before the devastating beam erupts from the nozzle, taking down more or less anything in its path.
Microsoft has reassured gamers worried about not finding a Halo 3 beta invitation in their copy of Crackdown.
Certain Affinity's Max Hoberman says that Halo 3's Xbox Live features are "years ahead of everything that's out there".
One of the guns you'll be doing the killing with in Halo 3 is the MA5C assault rifle, according to the Bungie website, marking the return of the weapon-type after its exclusion from Halo 2.
The MA5C's power will be somewhere between the original game's MA5B assault rifle and the BR55 Battle Rifle from Halo 2. You can also use the heavy butt of the gun as a strong melee attack, but it has no alternate fire option.
Like the recent Mongoose ATV details announcement, there are some helpful remarks to accompany the news.
Details of Halo 3's Mongoose ATV have emerged on the Bungie website.
It bills the two-person vehicle as an ultra-light, all-terrain vehicle, both fast and vulnerable; ideal for quickly securing an important location or for attempting a wild snatch-and-grab operation for the enemy's flag.
However, the 'Goose won't be for everybody. While it would be a rookie error to overlook the versatility of the machine, its virtually non-existent armour and demanding handling make it a challenge to utilise effectively - as remarks on the site point out.
If you are one of the many Eurogamer readers from across the pond who previously tried but failed to gain entry to the spring Halo 3 beta, do not despair! Microsoft has announced a further two additional paths to make your virtual dreams come true.
Your first option is to log into Xbox Live and play through three gruelling hours of Halo 2 online, between Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007, 12:01 a.m. EST and Feb. 3, 2007, 11:59 p.m. EST. If your confidence still hasn't been shattered by twelve year-old toilet-tongued bratlings, then head over to the Halo 3 website and be one of the first 13,333 gamers to register for the "Rule of Three" program.
Failing to do this will leave you with only one other choice for now: to buy Real Time Worlds' co-op crime-busting title Crackdown. It's released across the US on 20th February, and in Europe on 23rd February, with certain marked copies of the game acting as keys that will let you download the required Halo 3 beta data from Xbox Live Marketplace.
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.
As promised, Bungie has released a seven-minute video dealing with Brutes in Halo 3, and offering a couple of glimpses of new weapons and even the single-player campaign.
Bungie has poured proper cold water on our old friend Internet rumours, denying outright that you'll be able to play as Brutes in Halo 3.
Looks like we won't have to wait long for more on Halo 3, with our old pal Internet reports bringing us word of a video set to go up on Xbox Live Marketplace next week.
The much anticipated Halo 3 trailer has gone live - you can watch it on Eurogamer TV and it's also available in high definition through Xbox Live Marketplace.
The 60-second spot offers a glimpse of the Master Chief caught up in battle on Earth, using a new kind of shield to avoid a blast and then... well, we'll leave you to analyse it obsessively.
But several observers have already questioned whether one or other of the "new things" in the trailer might be the fabled X-button move, which Bungie has yet to reveal.
Eurogamer readers across the pond will be keen to hear that the North American leg of the Halo 3 public beta sign-ups kick off on 4th December. That's Monday.
If you're over there and you want in on next spring's beta, you're going to want to head to www.halo3.com on that day.
But, as Bungie webmaster Frank O'Connor puts it, "Don't panic". "The Halo 3 beta will be available in the US, Europe and elsewhere in the world. We'll keep you updated on the details specifics as they come in."
Halo is undoubtedly one of the most popular game series in the world, and it's hit a new peak this evening (or games journalism's hit a new low - you decide) as the press descends on the announcement of an advert for it.
It's not just Xbox's fifth anniversary today, it's Halo's - and to celebrate the Bungie chaps have announced plans to do a public multiplayer beta of Halo 3 on Xbox Live next spring.
Yes, that means that sometime early next year you'll be able to play Halo 3 with your friends, with your feedback being collected for Bungie to take into account - ahead of the full game's release later in 2007.
That's not all either - with Halo 2 by far and away the most popular game on Xbox Live even now, Bungie's planning to release some premium multiplayer maps for it next spring as well.
Bungie has hinted at a big Halo surprise in the next week.
Following Halo 3 revelations in a Swedish magazine at the end of October, now the French are at it - with more multiplayer information seeping out in the French Official Xbox Magazine.
The Halo film has been postponed, Wingnut Films has admitted, following a number of setbacks including Universal and Fox's decision to ditch their interest in the adaptation over money issues.
Concrete details about Halo 3 have started to appear on the Internet after Bungie invited a few magazine people round for tea and Blood Gulch, with subscriber issues of Swedish magazine LEVEL revealing weapon, vehicle, level, control and collector's edition details. The latter sounds particularly eye-catching - or should we say 'head-catching', since it apparently includes a replica Spartan helmet.
Microsoft's ambition to get a big-budget Halo movie into cinemas has taken a knock this week, with film studios Universal and Fox pulling out of the deal they had struck with the software giant after a last-ditch attempt to renegotiate terms was rebuffed.
Bungie's latest weekly update on the development of Halo 3 reveals that the ever-popular Warthog is reaping the benefits of improved Marine AI, while the team is also testing out new control schemes.
Film maker Peter Jackson says that preliminary work and script doctoring on the Halo film he's executive-producing is going well, and he's got nothing but admiration for young director Neill Blomkamp, despite his relative lack of feature experience.
Newly announced Halo film director Neill Blomkamp has spoken out about how he's approaching the film's coveted source material, and about his views on Halo in general.
Halo will hit the silver screen in summer 2008, not 2007, Microsoft announced this week - and relative unknown Neill Blomkamp will direct.
At the Comic-Con held in San Diego last week, Marvel and Bungie announced plans to launch a new monthly comic titled Halo Ongoing.
As you might have guessed, it'll be based around the hit Xbox shooter, but that's all there is to report so far - there's no word on the comic's plotline, or on which artists and writers have been signed up to produce it.
Halo Ongoing is set to appear in shops later this year, following the release of the Halo Graphic Novel. As previously announced, the 128-page book will go on sale in the US this July, and its storyline will focus on the battles between the Covenant and the Flood.
It may have been a short week for our independent friends in the Americaland, but Bungie's diligent webmasters still found the time to update us on the latest in Halo 3 development - and to reveal that the Halo graphic novel is now finished.
Anyone looking forward to the Halo graphic novel might like to head over to Marvel.com right now.
That's because you can now enjoy a preview of the graphic novel - or "comic", as they used to be called in our day - online. You have to register for the site, but it's free and doesn't take too long.
As reported back in March, the Halo comic will weigh in at 128 pages and is set to feature a host of characters and weapons familiar to fans. It's being worked on by French comic book artist Moebius, along with the likes of Phil Hale, Ed Lee, Tsutomo Nihei and Jay Faerber, plus Bungie's own art team.
"You won't just finish one fight - you'll finish all of the fights that you started in Halo 1." That's Bungie explaining what Halo 3's going to be like in a new video talking about the making of the game's E3 trailer - which you can check out on Eurogamer TV now, with high-definition downloadable versions available on Bungie's website.
The seven-minute film talks about how the E3 trailer "is the reveal of the big mystery that Halo and Halo 2 have been driving toward." Various staffers talk about the scene shown in the trailer and how it relates to the Forerunners, what's happening to Cortana, and how the team wanted to create something on this scale before but were up against the limits of technology.
"When you're working in high definition it's a very unforgiving environment," they say, going on to talk about the Master Chief's armour and its self-shadowing, texture work, real-time reflection and the scratches - "He has been through some tremendous battle and we're actually showing that on the Chief this time around."
In amongst news of all the latest "banhammering" of Halo 2 cheaters, Bungie's latest weekly update notes that we should soon see the release of a documentary detailing the making of the Halo 3 trailer shown off at E3.
An update on the Bungie website has revealed that the multiplayer element of Halo 3 is coming along nicely - in fact, they've already started testing it.
Bungie has released a new screenshot for Halo 3, the Xbox 360 game that Microsoft is hoping will help send the PS3 to an early grave.
Bungie has taken time out from a busy schedule of, you know, doing Halo 3 to answer a few questions about the trailer that was on show at E3 last week.
In a Q&A on the Bungie website, they confirmed that work on the game began immediately after Halo 2 was finished, and that this game will have a much "darker feel".
It's also been confirmed that the trailer shows the ruins of New Mombasa, and that it's Mount Kilimanjaro you can see in the background. The spartan who appears is indeed John 117.
It's official - Halo 3 is on the way and will be hitting the shelves some time next year. But you can see it in action right now, because the trailer shown at Microsoft's press conference is available for viewing on Eurogamer TV.
According to Bungie's website, the trailer is very much running in real time, and it's designed simply to give us a sneak peek at the graphics and audio - they're keeping the multiplayer modes and all the other exciting stuff under wraps for now.
However, it does also reveal the return of Cortana, which director of cinematics CJ Cowan says will be key to the plot. "Cortana and the Chief being a galaxy apart is a situation we haven't seen before, and is something that is a powerful component to Halo 3.
Whether or not Microsoft announces Halo 3 at its pre-E3 conference - and the common consensus is that it will - there will probably be something for Bungie fans to check out judging by a weekly update to the developer's website.
While Halo 3's often been linked with next Tuesday's Microsoft press conference, IGN now claims that it's confirmed that the game will be shown off in video form.
Despite Bungie's claims to the contrary, US magazine Game Informer has declared that its article on Halo: Forerunner is not, in fact, an April Fool's joke.
Microsoft exec Peter Moore's been allowed into a room with a microphone again - and this time he's talked a bit about games.
Marvel has signed a deal with Halo developer Bungie to produce a graphic novel based on the blockbuster first-person shooter.
So much for the rumours about Halo 3 being called Forerunner - turns out it's all a hilarious April Fool's joke.
Rumour has it that the third instalment in the Halo series - frequently hailed as the Xbox 360's ultimate killer app - won't hit the shelves before the end of the year.
Bill Gates says he doesn't have any idea when Halo 3 will be released, claiming that it's up to Bungie.
Halo may never appear in 2d officially, but in its absence some enterprising Frenchmen have come up with a freebie version instead. Based on the Halo novel The Fall of Reach, Halo Zero is a 21MB download.
Guillermo del Toro has confirmed that he's in talks with various parties including executive producer Peter Jackson about directing the Halo film, but that he'd ideally like to do a Hellboy sequel first.
Peter Jackson's revealed his lofty ambition as executive producer of the new Halo film, which begins shooting next year. "Hopefully it won't suck," he told film site Dark Horizons during a recent New York interview.
Microsoft has revealed that Lord of the Rings and King Kong director Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh will be acting as executive producers on the Halo film.
Robbie Bach says that Bill Gates' widely reported comment about Halo 3 launching against PlayStation 3 next spring was a philosophical one rather than a specific pledge.
IN-FUSIO has signed the rights to produce mobile games based on Microsoft's Halo series, the company announced today.
The film translation of Microsoft's somewhat-popular sci-fi based first-person shooter franchise Halo has been given an official 2007 launch target by Universal and 20th Century Fox, according to a report in entertainment publication Variety.
Some new rumours about the third instalment in the Halo series are doing the rounds, thanks to some bloke who claims his mate's uncle works for Bungie. [As the always-enjoyable Kotaku notes, "Yeah, it's that reliable." - Ed]
Microsoft's tough demands for the proposed Halo movie may have turned off many large Hollywood studios, but the firm's gamble may still have paid off - with Universal and Fox reported to be nearing agreement on a deal to make the film.
Plans for a high-budget Halo movie are being pushed ahead by Microsoft, which delivered copies of the Alex Garland-penned script to Hollywood studios earlier this week - with a high price tag and tough conditions attached.
As the battle of the next-gen consoles truly gets underway, Bill Gates has revealed his master plan for taking on the PS3 - a simultaneous release of Halo 3.
A report from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer this week claims that Bungie is gearing up for development of a third instalment in the Halo first-person shooter series with a serious recruitment drive.