Redmond (WA) - Microsoft announced today two new ways to get into the Halo 3 multiplayer beta program, which officially launches this spring. By playing Halo 2 over Xbox Live (XBL) and registering online, or by purchasing the upcoming title Crackdown, users who didn't get a chance to register in December can still get into the beta.
According to John Porcaro, a global marketing rep for Microsoft, the first new way to enter the beta will be following the "rule of 3". Beginning midnight (EST) on February 1, and ending at 11:59 PM February 3, the first 13,333 people to play three hours of Halo 2 over XBL and register online at Halo3.com will be eligible for the beta program that opens up some time this spring.
As an alternate method, initial copies of Microsoft's first-party Xbox 360 game Crackdown will be specially marked, indicating the inclusion of an invite to the Halo 3 beta, which will allow them to download the beta program from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Crackdown will be available in the US on February 20, at a price of $60.
Both methods of entry require the user to have an Xbox 360 with a hard drive (which comes pre-installed in to $400 "pro" bundle), have an active Xbox Live Gold subscriber, and be at least 17 years old.
Halo 3, which developer Bungie has said is the last in the hit Xbox franchise, is set to be released later this year.