Today Microsoft unveiled additional details for the upcoming Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta slated to arrive on Xbox Live this Spring. Last month, the first news of the Beta was revealed (along with some information on the first method of gaining entry. Gamers were pointed towards Halo3.com for a chance to register and be chosen to participate in the upcoming multiplayer Beta test for Halo 3. Similar programs were taking place simultaneously around the world. The window for registering on Halo3.com has come and gone but today two additional entry points were revealed.
First, gamers have the opportunity to get into the Halo 3 beta by playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live. In order to qualify, you have to play a total of three hours of games on Xbox Live between 12:01 AM (EST) on February 1, 2007 through 11:59 PM (EST) on February 3rd, 2007. According to the press release, if you play three hours of games during this period, you then go register via http://www.halo3.com for a chance to become a beta participant. Specifically, you have to play those games and then be among the first 13,333 players to register at the site.
If you don’t get selected through either of those two promotions, there is a third, guaranteed option. Anyone who purchases the upcoming Xbox 360 game “Crackdown” will get automatic entry into the Halo 3 beta. If you have a Crackdown disc you’ll be able to activate and download the beta once it goes live next Spring.
We realize this latest announcement will spur a lot of questions, most of which we simply don’t have the answers to. While Bungie is obviously involved in the development of the beta and game itself, we don’t make the decisions regarding when, where and how the game content ultimately ends up in your hands. It’s really cool that our fans have the opportunity to share in our game early and in some ways actually help us polish the final product but ultimately we’re just developers – the business and consumer side of things are left up to our partners at MGS. As we get additional info and answers to your questions we will pass them along in future updates.
And lastly, we wanted to offer some additional details of our own regarding the Bungie “friends and family” program that will slightly precede the public Halo 3 beta (we mentioned this last week). In an effort to solidify the beta networking and game code before it’s released to the public in the Spring, we’ll be ramping up our ongoing internal Alpha tests to include non-Microsoft employees to help us hit a larger scale. This means that we’ll be tapping active members of our community to join us on Xbox Live as a precursor to the official start of the public beta. We’re still working on logistics and details but suffice it to say that we will have the opportunity to grant access to some number (thousands) of Bungie and Halo fans worldwide. This will not be a sweepstakes or a random drawing but will instead focus on active, supportive members of our community and people who are actively playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live and can provide us with the feedback and test cases we require. Stay tuned to Bungie.net in the coming weeks for additional details.
Anyway, the full press release from Microsoft follows below:
Microsoft Announces Two Additional Paths of Entry to Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta
Gamers are invited to join the fight when the beta goes live this spring
with Xbox Live and “Crackdown” providing the final two paths.
Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Studios are ringing in the year with a proverbial bang, as they announced today two new ways for gamers to receive an invitation to participate in the “Halo® 3” multiplayer beta program coming this spring through Xbox Live® Marketplace.
Specifically, gamers will be able to receive an invitation by doing one of the following:
· Qualifying over Xbox Live and then being one of the first 13,333 “Halo 2” gamers to register for the “Rule of Three” program at http://www.halo3.com in early February
· Purchasing the upcoming game “Crackdown™,” which hits store shelves in the U.S. on Feb. 20
The “Halo 3” multiplayer beta, which is a pre-release version of the multiplayer experience of “Halo 3,” is scheduled for availability in spring 2007 exclusively on Xbox 360™. The beta also represents an opportunity for gamers to participate in the testing and refinement of the multiplayer gameplay of “Halo 3,” the most anticipated game of 2007. Through the resulting feedback, Bungie Studios will be able to further hone the end result of “Halo 3.”
Beginning Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all gamers need to do is participate in at least three hours of “Halo 2” multiplayer sessions, via Xbox Live, before Feb. 3, 2007, at 11:59 p.m. EST and then be among the first 13,333 to register at http://www.halo3.com. The “Rule of Three” program is currently planned for gamers in the 50 United States (includes District of Columbia) age 17 years and older who have access to an Xbox 360 Pro console or an Xbox 360 Core console with hard drive, a valid Xbox Live Gold subscription and the “Halo 2” game. Gamers around the world are encouraged to visit http://www.halo3.com in the coming weeks for more information on the “Rule of Three” program in their region.
As well, when “Crackdown” hits store shelves, gamers eager to take home a copy of the highly anticipated exclusive action title for Xbox 360 will find marked boxes of “Crackdown” that include an invite to participate in the coveted “Halo 3” multiplayer beta program when it becomes available. When the “Halo 3” multiplayer beta surfaces in spring 2007, owners of “Crackdown” with access to an Xbox 360 Pro console or an Xbox 360 Core console with hard drive and a valid Xbox Live Gold subscription simply need to load their copy of “Crackdown” into Xbox 360 and use the disc as a key to download the beta from Xbox Live Marketplace and join the battle in “Halo 3” multiplayer. “Crackdown” will be available in the U.S. on Feb. 20, Asian territories on Feb. 22 and European markets on Feb. 23.
In December, Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Studios completed the first of three ways for North American gamers to participate in the “Halo 3” multiplayer beta, by registering at http://www.halo3.com. Gamers who were selected from this initial opportunity will be contacted in January.