Epic Games in conjunction with Microsoft has confirmed that the Gears of War 3 Beta will officially start on April 25th. Gaining access to the beta, however, will involve pre-ordering Gears of War 3; and once you do, you will apparently be given a beta code that will allow you actual access to the beta.
For those that purchased Bulletstorm Epic Edition, you will be able to access the beta a week earlier. So, Bulletstorm Epic Edition owners will be able to start playing the Gears 3 beta on April 18th and they will have access to a one-week preview. If you want to have the longest play time of the Gears 3 beta you will apparently need to have purchased Bulletstorm Epic Edition and pre-order Gears of War 3 if you want the full four weeks of game play till May 15th.
As we understand it and we have confirmed previously the Gears of War 3 beta will consist of three new game modes and four maps that will be running on dedicated servers, so the expected performance for the multiplayer of Gears of War 3 is expected to improve. Beta players will have the ability to unlock some special things that you will be able to use in the actual released Gears of War 3 game.
It looks like things are shaping up for the Gears 3 beta to be something very special and different from what we have seen from other beta tests in the past. Epic appears to be going the extra mile to make the beta fun and to reward the players for playing it.