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Halo gets animated and new Xbox Live features

'Halo: Legends,' animated compilation announced.

An obviously staged shot of Master Chief "in action". Microsoft/Warner Bros.

A few years back in 2003, when the new Matrix movies were debuting, Warner Bros. also released a straight-to-video compilation of animated short stories based in the Matrix universe called "The Animatrix."

Each segment was produced by a different Japanese anime studio, and there were actually some pretty cool takes on the Matrix that emerged from this project. More recently, WB did the same thing with "Batman: Gotham Knight."

Now, WB is teaming up with Microsoft to do the same thing with the Halo universe. This fall they plan to release "Halo: Legends," a direct-to-video compilation of several animated short stories based in the Halo universe.

Popular anime directors Shinji Aramaki ("Appleseed") and Mamoru Oshii ("Ghost in the Shell") will be working on the project, as will familiar studios like Production I.G. ("Blood: The Last Vampire"), Studio4 ("Tekkonkinkreet"), Toei Animation ("Dragon Ball"), Casio Entertainment (visual effects work on "Big Man Japan"), and Bones ("Cowboy Bebop: The Movie").

Microsoft also announced a new Xbox Live feature coming this fall called Halo: Waypooint.

Waypoint will be a hub for all things Halo. Users can access podcasts, trailers, screenshots, and "exclusive footage." Exclusive footage, I'm guessing, of upcoming Halo projects like Halo Reach (I hope).

They're also implementing what sounds like an achievement-based career system and player rankings to Waypoint that will be affected by both in-game and out-of-game accomplishments.