New Halo 3 offered as public beta test

Halo

Bungie Software, the makers of the extremely popular FPS for the Xbox, has made an announcement that a new public beta test version of Halo 3 will be available next year.

The online multiplayer element will be made available to the public with feedback going back to the developers.

The statement comes in the same week that rival Sony and Nintendo are releasing their new consoles in the market.

“We can confirm that our fans will have an opportunity to play Halo 3 multiplayer over Xbox Live before the final game is available,” wrote community manager Brian Jarrard on the Bungie website.

The decision to release the multiplayer as a public beta marks a significant departure for Bungie, which is traditionally highly secretive when it comes to releasing details about its games.

Bungie has also said that new online multiplayer maps for Halo 2 would only be available to Xbox 360 owners and not players of the first Xbox.

This decision will probably anger many Xbox owners, which has been acknowledged by Bungie who made clear Microsoft made the choice.

“We can’t really blame you for potentially being a little upset at this news,” wrote Mr Jarrard.

“We have the opportunity to give our fans some new content over two years after the game shipped but ultimately, when it comes to pricing and timing and distribution and exclusivity, it’s not up to Bungie.”

Halo is the Xbox’s most valuable franchise and Microsoft will be hoping that releasing an unfinished element of Halo 3 to the public and new maps for Halo 2 only on the Xbox 360 will keep gamers loyal to the platform.