Play the new Halo next week - no E3 badge needed

Leak shows a Halo Wars 2 open beta kicks off today

It's a little too soon for Halo 6, right? Probably, given last year's release of Halo 5: Guardians, but that won't stop Microsoft from showing the series a little love next week during E3.

Halo Wars 2, the sequel to the 2009 real-time strategy spinoff, is set to release on both Xbox One and Windows 10 later this year, and it's sure to be a big focus for Microsoft in the months ahead. And you'll be able to play it next week, even if you're not at the big gaming convention.

That's because an open beta test will kick off today, 13 June - the same day as Microsoft's big Xbox press conference - as discovered by an page that posted too soon. Microsoft hasn't made the news official yet, but plenty of details were gleaned from the page before it was pulled.

It looks like the open beta will run for a full week, from 13-20 June, with up to six players able to battle it out together in the top-down RTS skirmishes. The beta client will apparently take up 13GB, too, so be sure you've got enough room if you want to join the fray come next week. You'll surely need an Xbox Live Gold membership too, of course.

No word yet on whether the Windows 10 version will also be getting in on the beta fun, but in any case, we should get details soon.

For a full look at what we expect from Microsoft next week, including revised Xbox One hardware and a load of fresh games, be sure to read our preview of the company's E3 plans.

[Source: Polygon]