Original Story: Reports flooding in from around the internet, including our very own chatty thread, indicate that problems with Halo 3 are preventing at least some, if not most, from playing the recently released title online.
According to numerous Shackers, players are informed that they must first update the game before they can play online. However, choosing to update presents an error message, thus preventing them from signing into Xbox Live. Others report an inability to upload and access screenshots via Bungie's servers.
Further evidence of a widespread problem comes from Bungie's very own stat tracking, which, as of this writing, shows a paltry 420 players online.
That said, not all gamers are experiencing a problem. Following the initial publication of this story, I had no difficulties hopping online and joining a multiplayer game, despite the in-game stats indicating the selected playlist was empty. Moments later, the game listed 15,521 gamers as being online--a far cry from the 420 currently listed on Bungie's site.
Shacknews has contacted Microsoft and Bungie for more information.