Microsoft to Release Halo 3 Beta

Microsoft said Wednesday that it would offer a public beta of its highly anticipated "Halo 3" video game to Xbox 360 users via Xbox Live in the spring of next year. In addition, advertising for the game would begin in December, and new premium content for Halo 2 is also planned.

The company is hoping to make gamers a bigger part of the development process through the beta. Bungie Studios plans to use the feedback it receives on Halo 3 to refine the game in preparation for the final release.

"The 'Halo' Nation has a nearly insatiable desire," Microsoft Interactive entertainment marketing corporate vice president Jeff Bell said. "We hope a taste of advance 'Halo 3' gameplay satisfies some of their appetite as we count down to the game's launch later in 2007."

The first television ad for Halo 3 will air once in December - a 60-second teaser of the game's features. The spot will appear during Monday Night Football on December 4, and will be available for download from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Additionally, Microsoft plans to extend the Halo 2 franchise by releasing new downloadable content via Xbox Live in the spring around the time of the Halo 3 beta launch.

Halo has been a huge success for Microsoft, with 14.7 million games sold and raking in nearly $700 million in sales.

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