With Halo 2, Bungie defined how games should be played online in the console space. The matchmaking system, its movable "couch," and its series of ranked playlists were innovations in the console space that should have been ripped off consistently, since. Unfortunately, games like Epic's Gears of War show how robust Bungie's online experience is, in part because the Gears online experience feels anemic by comparison.
When designing Halo 3's matchmaking service, Bungie said that they wanted the experience to be as robust as the Halo 2 experience was on Xbox. During a trip up to Bungie, 1up took a first look at some of the new functionality that will appear in Halo 3's matchmaking.