Halo Channel and Halo 5 Beta Dates Revealed at Gamescom

Microsoft reveals new interactive network dedicated to the blockbuster sci-fi series; Halo 5: Guardians beta runs December 29-January 19.

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Today at Gamescom, Microsoft made several Halo announcements, the first of which was the Halo Channel. It's a new interactive digital network for Xbox and Windows that will give fans of the sci-fi series "unprecedented, personalized" access to everything in the Halo universe.

Through the Halo Channel, you can watch existing and upcoming original content, including Halo: Nightfall, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Halo Legends, and the upcoming Halo TV series from Steven Spielberg. The Halo Channel also includes community content, information from the Halo Encyclopedia, and Twitch integration that lets you broadcast your gameplay or watch other feeds.

"This is your home for Halo," Microsoft says.

The other major Halo announcement today at Gamescom was about the multiplayer beta for Halo 5: Guardians on Xbox One. It will begin December 29 and run through January 18. Owners of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection are guaranteed access to the beta, though it sounds like there might be other ways to get in as well. The Halo 5: Guardians beta will have seven maps, three modes, and 11 weapons.

In addition, Microsoft says that Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners can unlock exclusive content that will carry over into Halo 5: Guardians when it arrives in 2015.

On top of that, Microsoft delivered some good news for Halo 2 fans, revealing that the remastered version of the 2004 game included with the Master Chief Collection will include a skill-based ranking system with leveling that is exactly the same as the original game. It was also revealed today that Halo 2's Sanctuary map has been remade for The Master Chief Collection.

For more on Microsoft's Gamescom showing, check out a recap of our liveblog.

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