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This morning, Bungie made the first ViDoc (video documentary) available for Halo 3. The video documentary focuses on the Brutes in the game and runs approximately seven minutes. Bungie is cautioning that the graphics in the documentary are not final, but the feature should give a good idea about where the company is heading with these creatures in the new game. English language Standard and High Definition versions are available on the Xbox Live Marketplace, and the company will be making localized versions and a non-Marketplace version available later. The feature is also currently available on GameVideos.com

Read More | Bungie

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Halo 3

The Halo 3 multiplayer beta sign-up is now active at Halo3.com. As previously noted, the beta is anticipated to start in Spring 2007. Users signing up must be 17 years old or older, have an Xbox 360 console with hard drive, an Xbox Live Gold subscription, and have their Microsoft .NET Passport linked to their active gamertag. Right now, the registration server is incredibly slow, so those signing up may have to be a little patient for the server load to drop a bit.

Update: The Halo 3 teaser trailer is now available for download from Microsoft here.

Read More | Halo 3 Official Site

Halo 3 Trailer

Microsoft has just announced that gamers will be able to sign up to participate in the Halo 3 multiplayer beta on Monday, December 4. On that day, people will be able to sign up for the beta by going to www.halo3.com; those gamers selected will get exclusive access to the pre-release code some time around spring of 2007. The sign-up is tied to the debut of a new CGI-rendered trailer for the game set to air on ESPN’s Monday Night Football between 5:50 and 6:20 p.m. PST.

Read More | Gamerscoreblog

Halo 3 Master Chief

On the 5th anniversary of the release of the original Halo, Bungie has dropped a few more details about the goings-on in the Halo universe. First, a new Halo 3 commercial will air exclusively on Monday Night Football on December 4th, with availability on the Xbox Live Marketplace to follow. The commercial will be entirely in CG, which may be disappointing to hard-core fans looking for new in-game footage, but Bungie promises that the commercial will be something special nonetheless.

In addition, Bungie is promising exclusive Halo 2 multiplayer map content available on the Xbox 360. The content won’t be free, and also leaves current Xbox Halo 2 players in the cold. Bungie holds out a faint hope that the content may eventually make its way to the original Xbox, but realistically, this stands little chance of happening. A side benefit of the exclusive content, however, is the news that the backwards compatibility team will be looking at fixing some existing issues in Halo 2 on the Xbox 360.

Finally, probably the biggest news will be the availability of a public beta of Halo 3 this Spring. It sounds like right now the beta will be a limited multiplayer test, but should be exciting for those anxiously waiting for the next iteration of the franchise.

 

Read More | Bungie

Halo 3

Halo 3 details are finally starting to show up in magazines and online media, and 1up has a quick preview of a few of the things discussed in the December issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1up drops some hints about new weapons, new vehicles, and what form Halo 3 will take at retail. According to 1up, consumers will be able to either purchase a standard, collector’s edition, or a Legendary edition (that should include some insane collectibles in the package). Further, Bungie has apparently been tweaking the controls to take advantage of the Xbox 360 controller and also tweaking existing weapons. 1up promises that the next three weeks will bring more Halo 3 content online, but the new details released today already raise interest.

Read More | 1up

Halo 3My old friend Billy at Game Informer just posted a rumor that we could see a Halo 3 demo by mid 2007. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that were the case, but I’d guess Q3 if it were me. But the more interesting part is that this could be the first demo to come with a price tag.

Pop Quiz: What’s the best way to raise the price for a game beyond the acceptable mass-market threshold without actually raising the price?

Answer…Hide the upcharge in something else that the customers will buy without a second thought. In this case, a chance to play a stripped down, early version of the game (probably multiplayer only) a few months early. My gut instinct is that Microsoft could charge 800 points ($10) for the demo and fans would pay it. That would effectively make the price for the full game $70.

Click to continue reading Could Microsoft Charge for a Halo 3 Demo?


Halo Wars

One of the bigger announcements to start X06 in Barcelona was the confirmation that a Halo RTS was in the works, from one of the big names in the RTS genre, Ensemble Studios. Halo Wars will be appearing on the Xbox 360, and the official web site for the game has launched. The site offers backgrounds and a high definition download of the trailer that was shown at X06. The FAQ for the game indicates that this will be a prequel of sorts, with the battles taking place before the first Halo game as the war between the USNC and the Covenant escalates.

Read More | Halo Wars

Master Chief Many gamers have been speculating about what Bungie plans to do after the release of Halo 3. Some on the Internet have declared that the third game in the series will be the last, closing the trilogy. Dean Takahashi at Mercury News has dug a little bit, and found some interesting information. According to Takahashi, two of Bungie’s top employees aren’t working on Halo 3, and are working on another secret project at the company. There are also indications that there is yet another team working on a separate project at Bungie as well. Halo 3 development seems to be proceeding well, though apparently the game has gone through a script rewrite.

Bungie’s past work seems to indicate that they are willing to leave a game world when they have told the story they wanted to tell, but with an upcoming movie, the recently released graphic novel, and their ongoing Halo universe novels, it seems hard to believe that the company would leave this world alone for long.

Read More | Mercury News

Halo 2 In the first person shooter genre, there have been a number of feuds, but one of the most contentious has to be the battle between keyboard and mouse users versus gamepad users. For the most part, the two groups have had little cross-over; gamepad users play mainly console-based shooters, while keyboard and mouse users favor PC gaming.

There have been some minor skirmishes when the two classes have been able to play online. Because the Dreamcast had its own keyboard and mouse controller available, gamers on that platform could match up online against gamepad players in Quake III Arena. PC users could also hook into the Dreamcast servers, but really, the disadvantages of the console platform made the battlefield uneven. PC gamers on the original Halo could configure a PC gamepad, but lack of standardization again made comparisons somewhat ineffective.

However, when Halo 2 for Windows Vista and its integrated Xbox 360 gamepad support is released, gamers will be able to take on their console brethren over Xbox Live to try and prove which controller will lead to ultimate dominance. In a preview of this battle, Bungie’s latest Humpday event had members of the Halo 2 Vista development team put their mouse and keyboard skills up against the Bungie Community Team’s gamepad talents. Of course, the Bungie Community Team swept all three rounds, and most weren’t very close. While disparities in overall skill levels make this hardly a scientific test, it seems clear that the gamepad isn’t the handicap that mouse and keyboard gamers would have you believe.

Read More | Bungie

Microsoft Windows Vista When Halo 2 was released in 2004, PC gaming fans hoped for a fairly quick release on Windows. However, it was ultimately announced that Halo 2 would be available exclusively on Windows Vista. This was somewhat puzzling, given that the Xbox version of the game was running on hardware that could easily be matched by PCs at the time. This week, however, Matt Priestley gives an update on the Halo 2 port that may give some insight into what gamers can expect. While more information will likely be featured when Halo 2 is shown at the Leipzig Games Convention, there are some interesting tidbits in the update. First, Halo 2 seems to be running decently under Vista, and was shown in 1920x1200 with 5.1 sound.

The audio and video portions of the game are also seeing an update, including new bump mapping effects, updated weapon models, and improved texture detail. Sound gets updated; Priestly indicates that sound effects are now better spatially located, and some tweaks have been made to vehicle sound effects. The other tweaks that were present in the latest build include support for the “mouse and keyboard” controls most PC gamers are used to and gamepad support. The article also hints at a new PC controller that may be available by the time Vista ships, possibly a gamer specific revision of the Intellimouse.

Read More | Bungie

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