Microsoft showed up to yesterday’s E3 2016 Xbox Media Briefing with tons of good news in tow. The details that it shared on Halo Wars 2, were surprisingly mixed though. First there’s the bad news, Halo Wars 2, that real-time strategy game that we never thought we’d get a sequel to, won’t make it to its fall 2016 release date. There’s some good news though; those of you with an Xbox One can go ahead and play the game now.

Confirmation of the Halo Wars 2 Beta came late yesterday on Microsoft’s Xbox Wire blog. The beta is for anyone and everyone with an Xbox Live Gold subscription and a decent internet connection. Simply look the game up in the Xbox Store and you’ll find the files that you need. Two modes, Domination and Deathmatch, are available for Xbox One owners to try today. Anyone that wants to try the game on their Windows 10 PC will have to wait just a bit; 343 Industries wasn’t able to get a Halo Wars 2 beta into the Windows Store in team. There are more betas coming for everyone though.

As for that delay, the pre-orders now available in the Xbox Store reveal the details. The new Halo Wars 2 release day is February 21, 2017. The studio says that development of the game is on schedule, but it wanted to give the title some breathing room away from the fall tidal wave of new launches.

Halo Wars 2 costs $59.99 for a basic version and $79.99 for Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition. The latter includes a remastered copy of the original game and add-on content.

Good news always comes with caveats my friends. Don’t forget to drop me a line on what you think of the beta.

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