255w ago - Per Shishka at Bungie.net (linked above): Testing is finally done and over with, and if you haven't already noticed, the January Matchmaking Update has been applied.
If you missed the Weekly Update where we described the changes for you, here they are again:
Playlist Clean Up, Mythic Prep In preparation for the new maps coming later this year, some of the less popular map variants are going to be removed over time. Some of these removals are not listed below, but will be reflected in the Matchmaking Playlist page here on Bungie.net. This will be an ongoing process with maps and their variants being systematically removed as warranted.
Push to Talk Restriction Increased Since Halo 3's release, if a player were to join a Matchmaking playlist with a team size larger than four, he or she would have to push a button on the DPad to communicate directly to their team. After the January update, the PTT restriction is being increased to 6 players per team, meaning that players will not need to use the D-pad to communicate on any Matchmaking playlist but Social Big Team.
What does this mean for players? Well, for starters, it means communicating to teammates in 5v5 or 6v6 playlists will be trivial. However, this could...
256w ago - A US teenager killed his mother and wounded his father in revenge after they took away his violent computer game, a judge has ruled.
The defence team for Daniel Petric, 17, had argued his addiction to the Halo 3 game, in which players shoot invading aliens, had made him insane.
But the judge rejected this, saying he had planned revenge for weeks. Petric, of Ohio, was tried as an adult and faces a maximum possible penalty of life in prison without parole.
On the night of the shooting in October 2007, Petric used his father's key to open a lockbox and remove a 9mm handgun and the game, the court heard.
His father Mark, who was shot in the head and survived, testified that his son came into the room and asked: "Would you guys close your eyes? I have a surprise for you."
He said he expected a pleasant surprise. Then his head went numb from the gunshot.
The Associated Press news agency reports that Microsoft, which owns the intellectual property for the game, declined to comment beyond a statement saying: "We are aware of the situation and it is a tragic case."
261w ago - It has been confirmed today that Halo Wars will be released in North America on March 3rd, while it will hit Europe on February 27th.
To quote: Ensemble Studios' Xbox 360 real-time strategy game Halo Wars finally has a release date. It will deploy/move out/establish a beachhead/random other armed forces metaphor on March 3rd in North America and on February 27th in Europe.
The game's now available for pre-order at several different retailers, if you're the type who likes to plunk down money months in advance for a game that you could easily pre-order the week before (just sayin').
As reported last month, pre-ordering the game's $80 Limited Collector's Edition and get an exclusive in-game vehicle and early access to the Mythic Map Pack for Halo 3, among other things.
The release will be a bittersweet day for Ensemble Studios. They're obviously pretty psyched about the project but the studio, best known for the Age of Empires series, will be closing its doors when work is completed on the game.
270w ago - Microsoft has revealed a batch of new software titles for the XBox 360 during its keynote session at the Tokyo Game Show today, naming the Halo project recently revealed by Bungie.
Halo 3 Recon is dated for autumn 2009, and sees the return of Microsoft's number one franchise to the XBox 360 system with new single and multiplayer content.
The latest big name franchise to make the leap to Microsoft's console is Tekken 6 from Namco Bandai, also due next autumn.
Tekken follows Final Fantasy as a franchise previously associated with Sony's PlayStation brand and highlights the recent trend for Japanese developers to go multiformat with releases.
A sequel to the Q Entertainment title Ninety Nine Nights is also due for the system, along with a handful of new XBox Live titles including Metal Slug 7 and King of Fighters 98 Ultimate Match from SNK Playmore.