Fans of the "Halo" series of games will be pleased to hear that they will be able to get their hands on an online beta for Halo 3, as well as new maps for Halo 2 in the spring of next year. With what Microsoft calls "a pre-release version of the multiplayer experience of Halo 3", there will be an Xbox Live public beta of the game made available.

Bungie plans to better connect with the Halo 3 fan base by means of this beta, in order to create a more polished multiplayer mode for the new game. Gamers worldwide will be able to participate in the development of Halo 3, which is a very exciting prospect indeed for avid fans.

Although the announcements don't shed much light on the game, there will be a special 60-second trailer for Halo 3 appearing on US TV on 4th December, which should also be available on the Xbox Live Marketplace in high definition shortly afterwards.

"Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax".