Speaking with Game Informer, Microsoft Games Managing Director, Shane Kim, and General Manager, Phil Spencer, take some time to discuss the Halo 3 beta. Speaking of the Halo 3 beta, Spencer notes that it will scale over time. In other words, the beta will start out small and grow as time passes. In part, this is why MS chose to put the beta in copies of Crackdown. It's presumable that those who made it into the first two phases of the beta will be playing before those with a Crackdown disc. The idea behind this is to implement new systems on Xbox Live to insure that everyone has a good experience playing when the retail product finally launches. By slowly adding more people to the beta, Microsoft can gauge the stress placed on Live.
Spencer adds that before Halo 2 launched, many were worried about the amount of stress it would place on the Live network. According to Spencer, "For us that's what the beta is about." While this doesn't confirm suspicions that the Halo 3 beta is more a stress test than it is an actual beta, it certainly adds fuel to the fire. We've discussed our own theories in recent posts and the latest Fancast, but we'd like to know what you think.
Will the Halo 3 beta be an actual beta, bugs and all? Or, will it be nothing more than a glorified stress test (admittedly a kickass stress test that's fun to play)? Does it even matter?