Earlier today, a news release accompanying the Halo: Reach opening cinematic said the multiplayer beta would begin this coming spring. Now, of all things, the description of a charity auction lot pegs the date no earlier than April 28.
The listing (above) comes from Thursday's Child's Play Charity Auction Dinner in Seattle. Bungie donated not only a crate full of games and studio swag, but also a visit to the studio's "top secret lair" and "access to the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta before it goes live to the public." Winning bidder, and up to seven friends, supply their own travel, Bungie provides the network and food and, of course, the game.
"Valid only between 4/8/2010 and 4/28/2010 - any day within that range is acceptable," says the listing.
April 29, 2010 is a Thursday. Perhaps it could begin then. Most likely, "Spring 2010" now means "May 2010."
You know the drill. I've emailed Bungie. They say anything, it goes here.
Update: A Microsoft spokesperson has replied:
We're excited that there is so much interest and enthusiasm for the "Halo: Reach" multiplayer beta coming this spring. We're not able to confirm any details about the exact timing or content of the beta at this time but we look forward to revealing more details in the future.
Reach MP Beta - Date Narrowed Down? [halo.bungie.org, thanks Kaelen H.]