Gamers can get access to the beta by buying the Halo Master Chief collection

Microsoft is apparently counting on the Halo series to drum up more customers for the lossmaking Xbox One, announcing a dedicated ‘Halo Channel’ that incorporates both gaming and TV.

The company described the channel as an “interactive network” for both Xbox and Windows allowing players to broadcast and view others stream on Twitch, as well as watch the live-action Halo: Nightfall TV series created by Ridley Scott.

Read more: what to look out for at Gamescom 2014
Gamescom 2014: the schedule
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare multiplayer announced

Players who purchase the Master Chief Collection for the Xbox One will have access to the channel, the first four Halo titles and the multiplayer beta for Halo 5: Guardians. Microsoft say gamers will be able to play straight through the series from start to finish or play on one of the 100 multiplayer maps spread across the title.

Microsoft also unveiled more details for the Halo 5 multiplayer, with the beta offering seven maps, three game modes and eleven weapons. The beta will open on December 29 through to January 18 next year, offering four-on-four arena based maps in smooth 60fps.

We still don’t know much about the singleplayer campaign for Halo 5 but a trailer released at E3 last year shows that it will at least continue the story of Master Chief rather than introducing a new character.