After reading about it’s release, I decided to check out the new Halo Portal service, now available to US Verizon Wireless customers with Get it Now-enabled cellphones.
Details: There are three available packages, priced at $2.49, $5.99 and $9.49 (1, 3 or 5 uses, respectively). You can access wallpapers, ringtones, check your game stats and and even unlock special content. New and limited-edition content will also be added on a weekly basis.
I chose the $2.49 package and took a look around. Here’s what I found…
The service breaks down into five main categories: Halo Universe, My Halo, Most Popular, Just Arrived and Limited Time.
Halo Universe – Includes Wallpapers, Tones, Vault and Halo Story
As with most traditional cellphone content, this is where most of the meat is. You’ll find all of the downloadable content, including some wallpapers of familar Halo artwork, including the original Halo cover art, select magazine illustrations, character/weapon/vehicle artwork and profiles, and environment renderings. Some of the stuff is pretty nice, and even though I could probably get ’em free elsewhere, I did consider grabbing a couple.
Ringtones are split into music clips, dialog, sound effects. Frankly, I didn’t find anything here that would be suitable as a ringtone. Not that the paper-shredder sound of an unloading SMG wouldn’t get my attention, but hey, different strokes…
Entering a code into the Vault will reveal exclusive content, but the challenge is getting the codes. However, you can sign up for alerts as new codes are activated and new content is available. One such code has already been found at HBO.
And the Halo Story pages are nothing more than quick, two-paragraph summaries of the games’ plotlines. Ho-hum, indeed.
My Halo – Includes Custom Posters, Gamertag, Challenge, Tips and Alerts
Here you can create a custom wallpaper using some very limited, pre-selected artwork. You can also enter your gamertag and look up stats for your most recent games, or even issue a challenge (via text message) to other gamers. While the Tips won’t be of much help to any Podtacular listeners (or anyone who’s played either of the games even once), the Alerts will help you stay on top of the latest Halo Portal happenings. I can see how this should be the most interesting part of Halo Portal, but at this point, I don’t see much value in any of these offerings.
Most Popular/Just Arrived/Limited Time
These categories basically provide the respective lists of content available.
Personally, I don’t find cellphone content all that worth it, and with alternative, free methods to getting content onto phones, I don’t see the need to pay for it either. But for the Halo completists (who also have Verizon service), you’ll probably want to at least consider it. I’ve already bought into it, only because for a super Halo-nerd like myself :D, I figured I could spare a few dollars and see what it’s all about.
Has anyone else tried Halo Portal? What are your thoughts?