When Halo: Combat Evolved was released with the launch of the Xbox in 2001, the sci-fi shooter wowed audiences with its impressive graphics. More than four years later, it looks like Halo's graphics will impress once again with the launch of a Microsoft console.
Bungie has confirmed what many had hoped: Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 will both run at 720p on the Xbox 360, with no additional fiddling. Simply insert Halo or Halo 2 into a 360, and watch Master Chief kick alien butt in high-definition resolution. This is a considerable jump over the 480p that Halo and Halo 2 run at on the Xbox, bringing the franchise into HD for the first time.
The game will be displayed in widescreen with full antialiasing, which greatly reduces distortion around the edges of images. With the widescreen display, split-screen games can be played with players' screens left and right, instead of top and bottom. Bungie did not rework any textures or play with the geometry.
Said Bungie on its Web site, "To clarify, the 'new' version of Halo or Halo 2 is simply the disk you have already. Pop it into your 360 and it'll load up just like before...both games will work immediately."
The Halo games are a few of the lucky titles that will be fully backward compatible and will play with higher resolutions on the Xbox 360. Microsoft still hasn't fully explained the limitations or requirements of backward compatibility, nor has the company revealed which Xbox games will be playable on the 360.