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MS defends full-price for Halo: ODST

It's now "much more than an expansion".

Microsoft has defended the decision to charge top whack for Halo 3: ODST, despite Bungie originally promising a cheaper price to offset a short story campaign.

"At the time of those statements, the overall scope of Halo 3: ODST was not yet finalised, and since then the project has grown increasingly more ambitious. We believe this standalone experience is much more than just an expansion," Microsoft told Joystiq.

"Halo 3: ODST provides a new campaign from the point of view of an entirely new character. Combine that with three new multiplayer maps, the entirely new cooperative mode called Firefight, and the complete Halo 3 multiplayer collection on a standalone disc, we feel this is a good value and tremendous addition to the Halo franchise."

We've asked Bungie for comment.

Halo 3: ODST arrives on 22nd September exclusively for Xbox 360. Bungie was on hand at E3 to show the game, demonstrating an early portion of the campaign on-stage at Microsoft's platform holder keynote address.

There, Bungie and Microsoft also revealed Halo: Reach, a top-secret first-person shooter project for release during autumn 2010.

Head over to our E3 hands-on impressions of Halo 3: ODST to see what's in store.