Champions Online Open Beta Kicks Off August 17

While an August 17 launch for the open beta of Champions Online was once "likely to change," developer Cryptic has now confirmed that the open beta will begin that day.

Those that pre-order the super-powered PC MMO from any participating retailer in North America will receive "guaranteed access" to the open beta, with various stores offering numerous other pre-order incentives, like exclusive items and a head start weekend. nope

Set to launch on September 1, Champions Online will pack a free month of play and five in-game micro-transaction dollars, dubbed "Cryptic Points," in all retail copies. All the details on the store-specific pre-order bonuses and such follow below:

GameStop
GameStop customers who pre-order Champions Online receive access to the Early Start Program. Battle an alien menace, collect exclusive items, and join the early start weekend to get a jump on the action! GameStop customers also receive the exclusive Insectoid Airfoil costume piece and Experimental Anti-Graviton Generator flight travel power at character creation for an early boost in mobility.

Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is offering an exclusive Limited Edition Package with collectible lenticular cover that includes an exclusive zone map, iron-on decal and an additional ten in-game micro-transaction dollars! Check online and in-store for more details and other potential offers.

Best Buy
Best Buy is offering their customers the fun and functional Lil' Champ Pack. These persistent pets are iconic, knee-high characters from the Champions universe! Best Buy Customers receive their own Lil' Champ. In addition, Lil' Champ owners also receive a functional damage resistance item. Best Buy pre-order customers will also receive access to the Early Start Program and head start weekend.

Amazon
The High Roller Pack is perfect for players who insist on the finest accoutrements for their avatar. With three unique, exclusive apparel options (harlequin headpiece, black knight helmet, grenade chest strap), and an additional five in-game micro-transaction dollars, you'll have plenty of options to push your "High Roller" look.