Halo: Reach copies that were given to Xbox Live beta testers as a reward for their help stopped working after a recent patch for the game. To make up for the mistake, Microsoft emailed those testers free digital download codes for the game to get working copies.
The affected players performed beta testing on an Xbox Live dashboard update earlier this year. While most owners of the game had no issues, the discs sent to the beta testers was different from the retail version. The recent title update is incompatible with these different discs. While the issue affected a relatively small number of gamers, it's still good for Microsoft to fix the issue. The fix helps to improve the company's public relations image and shows potential future beta testers they won't regret the work.
The only issue with the fix is players need 6.6 gigabytes of USB drive or hard disk space for the digital copy of Halo: Reach. While the digital download eliminates the need for gamers to wait for Microsoft to send them a disc, it would have been nice if they made the physical disc an option for players that don't have enough space for the download.
The patch has options and tweaks for a new multiplayer playlist that lets players preview gameplay improvements for the upcoming Xbox 360 game Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. The tweaks include configurable reticle bloom, modified Active Camo and Armor Lock abilities and removal of the option to block sword attacks with anything but another sword. The Halo: Reach title update also lets gamers play the Co-Op Campaign and Firefight modes without needing a hard drive.
The release date for Halo: Combat Evolved is November 15th. While the game is an updated version of the classic original Xbox game, the gameplay and features introduced should give everyone an idea of what to expect in the heavily anticipated Halo 4, coming in the 2012 holiday season.