Halo 3 News

New Xbox 360 console redesign announced

New Xbox 360 console redesign announced

Xbox Live Gold now entitles you to two free game downloads per month.

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.

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Worldwide Xbox 360 sales hit 67m, 3m ahead of PS3

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.

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BBC News mistakes Halo UNSC logo for UN

UPDATE: BBC tells Eurogamer: "Very occasionally mistakes do happen."

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.

Halo 4 confirmed by Microsoft

Halo 4 confirmed by Microsoft

Halo HD remake and more also outed!

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".

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Microsoft announces Halo Fest

Microsoft announces Halo Fest

New game reveal at August PAX blow-out?

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?

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Mona Lisa Halo motion comic release date

Mona Lisa Halo motion comic release date

Microsoft to improve Halo Waypoint.

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.

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Apple boss furious at MS Bungie buy-out

Steve Jobs threw toys out of pram.

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.

MS: Halo 3 outsold six PS3 titles combined

Greenberg goes on offensive pre-E3.

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.

Developers announce Haiti relief plans

Developers announce Haiti relief plans

Bungie and others ask for help.

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.

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Halo 3 beats COD on Live in 2009

Plus Indie, Xbox, XBLA and GfW lists.

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.

Halo 3: ODST sales reach 2.5 million

Halo 3: ODST sales reach 2.5 million

Plus: Master Chief set to return.

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.

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Halo Waypoint to "aggregate everything"

May be for Xbox Live Gold only.

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".

MS changes gamerscore limit to 1750

Sources confirm rule change regarding DLC.

Microsoft has updated the rules regarding the total amount of Achievements and gamerscore that Xbox 360 games can award to players.

Left 4 Dead Survival Pack dated

Gears 2 and Halo 3 packs dated/priced.

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.

Halo 3 Mythic Map Pack out on 9th April

800 Microsoft Points asking price.

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.

Halo 3 ODST to come with all DLC maps

Heroic, Legendary, Mythic and more.

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.

No Bungie DLC for Halo 3: ODST

Mythic map pack to be the last.

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.

Latest Halo 3 Mythic map unveiled

Forge-loving Sandbox vehicle playground.

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.

Castle Crashers tops XBLA chart for '08

Halo 3 takes multiplayer crown.

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.

Halo 3 expansion gets renamed

Halo 3 expansion gets renamed

From Recon to ODST. Catchy.

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.

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Halo MMO had been green-lit

Was a prequel, and a "classic MMO".

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.

Maddie ref. an "unfortunate coincidence"

Bungie responds to Halo trailer blooper.

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.

Maddie reference spotted in Bungie trailer

Maddie reference spotted in Bungie trailer

Controversy kicks off over what it means.

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.

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Bungie reveals Halo project trailer

Bungie reveals Halo project trailer

Countdown comes to an end.

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?

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Halo 3 title update available today

Halo 3 title update available today

More Achievements, quick quick.

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.

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Halo Studio gearing up for next-gen

Building an engine for new platforms.

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".

Gearbox in talks to do new Halo game

But no deal in place yet, says Variety.

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.

Bungie talks AI and animation

It's all about picking up pencils.

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 hints at 'HaloCon' event

Who needs E3 anyway?

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.

Bungie has "three distinct projects"

But don't expect a big reveal soon.

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 upset it had to cancel E3 reveal

Bungie upset it had to cancel E3 reveal

Disappointed at "publisher" decision.

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."

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New Halo 3 map coming next week

Plus: price cut for Legendary map pack.

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.

1 billion 360 Achievements unlocked

A roundup of all MS' GDC keynote stats.

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.

Make Halo video, win month in LA

Studying at film school.

Microsoft is inviting Halo fans to create videos about Master Chief and win a month in Los Angeles studying at a prestigious film academy.

Halo 3 map pack released

Pay today or free in spring.

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).

Halo 3 playlist tweaks detailed

One update tomorrow, one later.

Our friends at Bungie have been getting excited about some upcoming playlists, which should roll out tomorrow and next Tuesday.

Bungie focusing on Xbox 360

"No plans" for other formats.

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.

Halo 3 map pack shots

Bungie LiveText tomorrow!

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.

Halo 3 devs next for LiveText

Interview two of them on Friday!

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?

Bungie wheels out Halo 3 stats

And promises some news today.

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.

Halo 3 gets soundtrack

Earth orbits sun.

The full soundtrack for Halo 3 will be in shops later this month, which is about as surprising as doing your teeth.

Bungie intros Halo 3 Heatmaps

See where everyone died.

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 working on non-Halo IP

Two titles plus Halo DLC in dev.

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.

Reggie likes Halo, BioShock

Also intrigued by Sony's LBP.

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".

Bushnell does like some games

Not a Halo 3 or GTA fan, though.

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.

Film execs cross with Halo 3

Kept people at home.

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.

Halo 3 matchmaking update

Halo 3 matchmaking update

More tweaks likely.

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."

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Halo 3 sales top USD 300m

Halo 3 sales top USD 300m

Bill Gates quite chuffed.

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.

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Halo 3 tops Japanese charts

Oblivion PS3 in there, too.

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 smashes UK 360 record

2nd fastest selling game ever.

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.

Bungie explains Halo resolution

Not 720p, but you won't notice.

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".

New Halo 3 disc errors?

And additional excitement.

Microsoft and Bungie are under fire from Xbox 360 owners experiencing disc-read errors from their new copies of Halo 3.

Halo 3 Legendary under fire

Bungie responds to complaints.

Bungie has responded to criticism of the quality of the remastered Halo and Halo 2 cinematics in the Legendary Edition box of Halo 3.

Halo 3 does USD 170 million sales in 24 hours

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.

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Halo 3 breaking sales records

Halo 3 breaking sales records

Baker and Akabusi close in.

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.

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Halo charity auction loot

Signed by Gates and Allard.

Microsoft boss Bill Gates has his signature on a limited edition Halo 3 console, which is being sold for charity on eBay.

Halo 3 disc problem reports

MS US offers replacements.

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.

New Halo 3 live action short

Keeping Blomkamp busy then.

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.

US Halo 3 launch madness

US Halo 3 launch madness

Three-year wait finally at an end.

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."

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No ban for Halo 3 early birds

Lucky bleeders play on.

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.

Argos breaks Halo 3 street date

Lucky bleeders got copies.

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's Halo 3 launch plans

Microsoft's Halo 3 launch plans

Celebrities, red carpet, bubbly.

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.

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MS talks Halo 3 telly advert

Sounds very expensive.

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.

Messenger Kit, Halo pads dated

And priced. Readies at the ready!

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!

Halo 3 finished

Been hanging over their heads.

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.

Game music at London Festival

Warcraft, Halo, Zelda, more.

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.

Elite dated, priced in Oz

MS gets organasised.

Microsoft has stamped confirmation on the date and price for the Xbox 360 Elite and Halo Special Edition consoles in Australia, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

MS quiet on new Halo beta

MS quiet on new Halo beta

Evidence says otherwise.

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.

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Halo 3 co-op confirmed

Halo 3 co-op confirmed

Four players over Live.

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.

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Bungie on Halo 3 co-op chatter

Online decision yet to be made.

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.

Halo 3 online co-op in doubt?

Man allegedly says in magazine.

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.

E3: Halo 3 SKU announced

E3: Halo 3 SKU announced

Special console in September.

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.

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MS explains Halo viral campaign

Discover Halo's origins with Iris.

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.

Halo 3 multiplayer beta over

Halo 3 multiplayer beta over

Loads took part.

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.

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Vague Halo film reassurance

Or something. Er.

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.

Halo 3 beta fixed

Halo 3 beta fixed

Bungie gets wrench out.

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.

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Halo 3 beta goes live today

Halo 3 beta goes live today

Keep up with all our coverage.

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.

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Halo 3 in September

Multiplayer beta today.

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.

New Halo 3 shots

See what the fuss is about.

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..

Halo 3 beta has split-screen

Halo 3 beta has split-screen

And saved films feature.

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.

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Why is Halo 3 beta so short?

Why is Halo 3 beta so short?

Bungie explains.

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.

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Halo 3 "X-Button"

Bungie details new equipment.

This week's Bungie website update has revealed more information about special equipment in Halo 3.

Halo 3 beta on 16th May

Halo 3 beta on 16th May

Three maps promised.

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.

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Bungie enthuses over Halo 3 AI

Talks about building atmosphere.

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.

Halo 3 lacks depth (of field)

Bungie prefers clarity.

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.

Halo 4 rumours a joke

Bungie treads on speculation.

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 beta isn't "a tease"

Halo 3 beta isn't "a tease"

"Don't call it a demo" - MS man.

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.

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Halo 3 gets 'mute idiot' button

Plus, Cortana actress gets tearful.

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.

Halo 3 Spartan Laser details

Halo 3 Spartan Laser details

Drip, drip, drip.

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.

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MS offers Halo 3 reassurance

Says entire first shipment of Crackdown features invites.

Microsoft has reassured gamers worried about not finding a Halo 3 beta invitation in their copy of Crackdown.

Halo 3 assault rifle details

Halo 3 assault rifle details

'I trust it like I trust my own arms.'

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.

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Halo 3 Mongoose details

Halo 3 Mongoose details

Driving me round the bend.

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.

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More ways to get Halo 3 beta

More ways to get Halo 3 beta

Including one that's not US-only.

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.

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US soldiers get to play Halo 3

Just for being in Iraq. Cuh.

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 deals with Halo rumours

Brutes and docu stuff cleared up.

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.

Halo 3 vid-doc next week?

No playable Brutes, mind.

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.

Halo 3 trailer goes live

Halo 3 trailer goes live

As does US beta registration.

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.

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Halo 3 beta sign-up details

Halo 3 beta sign-up details

For the US, so far.

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."

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Halo ad to show next week

At least they sent out a picture.

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.

Halo 3 public beta in spring

Halo 3 public beta in spring

Plus new Halo 2 maps.

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.

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More on Halo 3 multiplayer

Courtesy of the French.

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.

Halo film postponed

But it will be back, apparently.

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.

Halo 3 unveiled

Weapons, maps, vehicles, more.

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.

Studios pull out of Halo film

Fox, Universal unhappy.

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 talks Halo 3 controls

And how AI's helping Warthogs.

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.

Jackson talks up Halo film

On script, director, more.

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.

Halo film director speaks

On the Chief, Covenant, more.

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 film due in 2008

Director a relative unknown.

Halo will hit the silver screen in summer 2008, not 2007, Microsoft announced this week - and relative unknown Neill Blomkamp will direct.

New Halo comic announced

New Halo comic announced

It'll be published monthly.

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.

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Bungie on Halo 3 interface

Plus: graphic novel finished.

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.

Halo graphic novel preview

Halo graphic novel preview

Now available online.

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.

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Halo 3 trailer making-of

Halo 3 trailer making-of

Lots of sequel chatter.

"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."

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Halo 3 documentary coming

The making of the trailer.

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.

Halo 3 multiplayer looking good

Bungie's already testing it.

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.

New Halo 3 screenshot

Yep, just the one, sadly.

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 talks Halo 3 trailer

Bungie talks Halo 3 trailer

Rather cryptically, though.

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.

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New Halo 3 trailer, details

New Halo 3 trailer, details

See it in action right now.

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.

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Bungie hints at E3 excitement

Secrecy annoys them too.

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.

Halo 3 at MS conference?

More trailer talk.

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.

Halo rumour true after all?

Plus: Halo MMO coming?

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.

Halo news this year - Moore

MechAssault, Crimson Skies dead.

Microsoft exec Peter Moore's been allowed into a room with a microphone again - and this time he's talked a bit about games.

Halo graphic novel on the way

Featuring all your old friends.

Marvel has signed a deal with Halo developer Bungie to produce a graphic novel based on the blockbuster first-person shooter.

Halo 3 rumours quashed

It's an April Fool's joke. Ha ha.

So much for the rumours about Halo 3 being called Forerunner - turns out it's all a hilarious April Fool's joke.

No Halo 3 in 2006?

Rumour mill's a-grinding.

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.

Free 2d Halo shooter

Unofficial, obviously.

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.

Del Toro considers Halo film

Would rather do Hellboy 2.

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 on the Halo film

He hopes it won't suck.

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.

Halo 3 ready 'when it's ready'

But, says Robbie Bach, it might not be ready in time to tackle PS3.

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.

Halo movie to shine in 2007?

Plus, triple pack for Xbox?

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.

Halo 3 rumours emerge

Interesting ones, if true.

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]

Big studios consider Halo flick

Film chiefs court Master Chief.

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.

MS' Halo film demands

Wants big commitment.

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.

Halo 3 to see off PS3

So says Bill Gates, anyway.

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.

Bungie recruiting for Halo 3?

A Seattle newspaper says Bungie is doubling its staff to ramp up production on Halo 3. Insiders reportedly claim it's "untrue".

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.