Okay folks, the big news is here. It turns out that the "BIG" Halo announcement is neither a Halo 3 release date nor the long awaited Marathon Arcade. Is it actually worthy of the capitalized BIG (we all remember the BIG GOW announcement)? Maybe we're overstepping our bounds here, but we're going to say yes. Big yes. It's BIG. It turns out the BIG announcement is actually three announcements rolled into one megannouncement.
The first announcement: new maps are coming for Halo 2! These maps will only be available for Xbox 360 owners sometime in the Spring. Frankly, we're excited. We never would have anticipated something that could make us dust off Halo 2, but there it is. We'd also like to point out that it's a brilliant -- if somewhat dastardly -- move on Microsoft's part to release these maps exclusively on 360. Naturally, there are thousands (millions?) of Halo 2 players that are quite happy playing it on their original Xbox. Sure, they'll probably get a 360 when Halo 3 comes out, and Microsoft knows it. So, if you can't sell those people Halo 3 until next winter, just sell them Halo 2 ... again! We should note that Bungie hopes that Microsoft will eventually make this content available for original Xbox owners, but in the meantime it's a great incentive (for Halo 2 addicts) to upgrade to 360 right now. At any rate, we're excited as hell to play us some new maps. Here's hoping they can squeeze out some new graphical effects offered by the 360. Also worth noting, the new maps mean that MS is taking another look at Halo 2's backwards compatibility glitches, so some of those should be ironed out in the future.