The Halo 2 Autoupdate is a small piece of software which will improve the functionality of Halo 2, most notably in the following areas:
Matchmaking: Some players have experienced irritating delays while waiting for a game to be found while in Quickmatch and Optimatch. This is caused by a combination of factors, including connection speed and other detailed nuances of matchmaking. We have isolated the cause and applied a solution to the autoupdate which should normalize that wait time.
480p Support: The autoupdate will improve support for 480p resolutions on a wide range of HDTV and EDTV displays, correcting a flaw that the software encountered with some sets causing part of the HUD to be obscured. This problem does not currently occur on all HDTV sets, so it is possible that your specific set is unaffected right now and it will therefore not be altered or changed by this autoupdate. If you are seeing the HUD clip or bleed off the screen in 480p widescreen and 4:3 modes) this should address that problem perfectly.
Foundation: As something of a treat for players, we’ve decided to make the unlockable multiplayer map, Foundation, available to everyone. Previously, to unlock Foundation, it was necessary to both complete the game and activate a “training event” on the final level. We reckon that was too tough for most, and wanted very much to share Foundation – inspired by our old shoot ‘em up Marathon – with Halo 2 players everywhere. Once you have the autoupdate, you’ll be able to play this rarely seen arena map with anyone you wish. And be sure to try a game of four-team CTF on this map. It's a hoot!
The Autoupdate should be available by the time you read this, and getting it is as simple as logging into your Xbox Live account. Xbox Live gamers are probably already familiar with the concept of an autoupdate and this one behaves exactly the same way.
WHERE CAN I GET THE AUTOUPDATE?
The Halo 2 autoupdate should be downloaded automatically (with your permission) the next time you log into Xbox Live. You will see a message alerting you that an update is available, and you’ll be given the choice to download it or not. Choosing not to download the autoupdate will have no effect on your software and it will continue to operate as it did before the update. We do however suggest downloading this autoupdate, since it should enhance your play both on Live games and in 480p resolutions.
If you wish to download the update solely to take advantage of the improved 480p support, then there are a couple of ways to achieve this. If you have a broadband connection, but do not subscribe to Xbox Live, note that your Halo 2 packaging contains a two month trial subscription to the service, allowing you to both access this autoupdate and to enjoy a free trial of the Xbox Live service. You are free to deactivate the service at no charge whatsoever, any time within the two month period. If you don’t wish to do that, simply borrow a friend’s Live account – it can be stored on a memory card – and log into Xbox Live.
You may also simply take your Xbox to a friend’s house, or to a location with a useable broadband connection and achieve the same result, as long as you log into an Xbox Live account. Most of the improvements however, benefit Xbox Live users only. System Link, Campaign and Split-Screen game types will see little or no change from the autoupdate.
Unlike downloadable content – a new map for example – the Autoupdate cannot be simply installed from a disc. For that reason it is unlikely that we will ever make the update available on a disc, such as the Official Xbox Magazine game disc.
As we've stated before, we're still evaluating some changes to the playlists. We're actually very close to finalizing these changes, so you can expect an update relatively soon. Hang in there.