Fans Upset $250 Halo 5 CE Only Includes Digital Copy, But 343 Exploring Solutions

The most expensive version of Halo 5 doesn't include a physical disc.


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The $250 version of Halo 5: Guardians should be the ultimate version of the game for collectors--it is, after all, dubbed the Limited Collector's Edition. And yet, last month, we learned that it would include a digital copy of the game, rather than a physical disc. While this route has its benefits, many Halo fans were upset with the news, although 343 Industries now says it's hoping to have a solution that will make those players happy.

During a Halo panel at San Diego Comic-Con, franchise development director Frank O'Connor addressed a question about whether CE buyers will have an option for getting a physical copy. "The honest answer is that we did a lot of research and we didn't make that decision lightly," he said. "We have a significant number of people who want the game early. And with the digital version, we had to balance that against the production dates for the statue and all that.

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"And we get it. Nobody thought this announcement was going to happen and would be easy and everyone would be happy. But the reality is humans feel loss more than they feel gain. So some things don't make up for things you lose."

That doesn't mean 343 isn't trying to do something about the feedback it's received. "[T]he good news is that we are working on trying to come up with a solution that can make the people who did want a physical disc happy," O'Connor continued, though he failed to offer any specifics. "And we'll hopefully have more to announce about that at a later time."

The absence of a physical disc in the collector's edition was deemed especially odd in light of the fact that both the standard and limited editions will include one. Unlike those versions, however, the collector's edition will be available a week early. This will allow CE buyers to begin downloading Halo 5 early, though they'll have to wait until it officially launches to actually begin playing.

"But we hear you," O'Connor said. "These logistical decisions are super hard. The statues have to ship before the other versions. Some people wanted the digital version. And as we go into this digital and physical transition, while hopefully we'll have a way to solve that for Halo 5, the industry's going to change. And the way that people play console games in particular is continuing to evolve more and more towards digital.

"But we have this oddity of a big, physical object. So we're trying to solve that, and we hope that we'll be able to make everyone who wants what they want as happy as they possibly can. And, again, we'll have more to announce about that at a later date."

Halo 5 is due out for Xbox One on October 27. The $250 Limited Collector's Edition, which includes everything pictured above, will be available on October 20.

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Avatar image for stoney29z

Well if you have 250 buck to blow on a game in the first place, Just go buy the Normal edition as well as the CE edition and ta-da, You have a Disc copy too.

Avatar image for stoney29z

Uhh, i just have the normal Digital Pre-Order and it already let me Download the game. So why is downloading the game early on there. Everyone gets to download the game early that pre-ordered.

Avatar image for jakeben10

I own every single Halo game on my game shelf. I am sorry but for $250 It should come with a special metal tin hard copy of the game and extra content for it as well. The shit they try and pull anymore is just beyond me. First the stuff with Bungie and now this. Wow 343. This deeply upsets me.. I guess Naughty Dog is my last hope.

Avatar image for grownassgamer

I've never seen so many people CRY and WHINE in my life

Avatar image for wrestlingdude

Man I'm actually happy the CE is digital, I just bought a 6TB WD My Book for the long haul. The only game I still have a hard copy of is Destiny, until The Taken King comes out.

Avatar image for davidsworld3

Disgraceful what 343 is trying to pull....who in their right mind would pay that much money and not even get the physical copy which will be worth money? Digital content is worth 0 dollars.

Avatar image for CagedOkami

no disc no sale. its about the my collection of games and the disc is what makes it for me.

Avatar image for ruelas420

NO!!! 90% of the people want a physical disc. If Microsoft and Sony are trying to force digital crap on us then those games better be NO MORE THAN $25!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ill take Halo 5 digital but im not paying no more than $25 for the freaking game then.

Digital= rat sh!t!!!!!! not even human...

Avatar image for dogman7

I don't see hoe people are saying this is a stupid decision. They're letting you pick up the game a week early to pre-load it, which is why there's no disc, and people think that's stupid? I'm really starting to think people just complain to complain.

Avatar image for Intocable

@dogman7: Well, yes, they let you pre-load the game a week earlier but you can't play until launch day. So basically they are just offering to save you a few hours of your life before you play the game along with everyone else. To me there's no freaking extra value on that, this is one of the most expensive collector's editions that has come out lately so no excuse to disregard a physical copy and what is supposed to be a collector's item on a collector's edition bundle.

Avatar image for dogman7

@Intocable: I get it's bad for collectors. I can sympathize with that. It's the people that think this is some malicious attempt at DRM that you won't get a disc when in reality a disc is more inconvenient these days. They won't be around forever. But if there is a disc available then yes, collectors should get it as they're the ones buying the CE in the first place.

Avatar image for dogman7

@lim30041982: How does this have anything to do with Sony? I've had a PS4 since the beginning of the year, and besides playing TLoU and Infamous, haven't bought any games because there aren't any. Where the games at?! You're right, "greatness awaits" and I'm still waiting for it. PS4 has less games than the Wii U... Think about that for a moment. Most sales doesn't mean best console.

Avatar image for k9kal85

@dogman7: Think about all other products that consumers buy. His logic is that if it sells more then the other brands it means its better. Just like Honda sells more Civics then Lamborghini sells Venenos . So the Honda is a better car. because it sells more.

Avatar image for RighteousNixon

Dumb a*ses!

Avatar image for thedeltagears

I hate it when my friends tell me they just want digital, for me having a disc just brings out the sentimental value of my experience with the game. I have a Halo: Reach legendary edition, and I have kept it in pristine condition, disc, black box, journal, and statue. People called me stupid for paying the 149.99 price tag, but hell it was worth every penny. Every time I look at that statue I get the extreme urge to pop Reach into my 360 and play some classic slayer. Strangely enough when I got my Xbox one, i got the master chief bundle, and sadly I don't play enough as I should, but in lieu of a disc and case I have my download code page displayed next to my Reach statue and it ain't moving anytime soon.

Avatar image for davidsworld3

@thedeltagears: Well you are stupid to pay that much for it...I seriously doubt you will ever get a profit out of it, games no longer are worth as much as they used to be. Digital has taken the value out of everything anymore.

Avatar image for Intocable

So many stupid decisions nowadays..... and they are already crapping all over their Halo game launch. First with a really steep price for the bundle, then not including a physical copy on a "Collector's edition" - not really "collector's" after all-, and finally removing completely split-screen multiplayer.... I also pre-ordered this joke of collector's edition and as many comments below say I will cancel it if they dont do fix some stuff....

Avatar image for ruelas420

@Intocable: Im with you all the way!!!! Ill just get the Steel book copy and will never buy anything 343 ever again. I love halo, but this move right here is the last draw.

Microsoft needs to rid themselves of 343 ASAP!!!!

Avatar image for davidsworld3

@ruelas420: bullshit you will end up buying halo 6 just to say you have the entire console collection. I'll admit I will be one of them unless they really screw this game up or 6 that is.

Avatar image for k9kal85

I will give them tell Oct. 14 to put a physical Disc in the CE or I am canceling my pre-order.

Avatar image for nyadc

@k9kal85: Must be fate, that is my birthday, I will do the same.

Avatar image for ruelas420

@k9kal85: Same here!!!! Microsoft is going to lose a ton of money if they dont fix this. This move might even kill Halo

Avatar image for davidsworld3

@ruelas420: They wont lose anything they couldn't afford to lose. They dont base delux packages as their most money makers. The basic version is what will make them the most money.

Avatar image for megax50

They wanted to make it digital only for the CE because...? That makes no sense. They HAVE to ship the CE statues BEFORE the regular release? Then just make the retailers hold onto it until the release date like anything else.
I mean crap, it's not like the CE buyers even get the benefit of having the game early if they can't play it before release date anyway. I'd rather wait the week and have the physical disc than get a digital copy that I can't even play the day I receive it.
How the hell did they make this decision at all outside of trying to save production costs on the discs.
This just screams "We know you're complaining, we're doing nothing about it."

Avatar image for X-RS
X-RS more? This is beyond pathetic, too cheap to give DIEHARD FANS a cheap printed disc...unbeleivable M$

Avatar image for Hvac0120

At $250 they could have given these collectors both digital and physical copies. Why would a collector want to collect a digital copy??

Avatar image for eilegz

people are paying 250 for this. yet it complain about about destiny limited edition...

343 its really destroying halo and bungie legacy on this one

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl

250..................... 250 ...........rubs eyes ............ 250 ..................... o...............k ..........

Avatar image for dutch2099

"We are exploring solutions". Here's the solution, PUT A FUCKING DISC IN THE FUCKING BOX. It's not quantum physics (is it???) People still consider physical copies of software to be worth more than digital copies. Digital can be an option, but the only reason digital is becoming more and more of a trend is because the industry is driving it that way. Many casual gamers buy into the convenience of digital releases because the industry tells them its a good idea and they just don't know any better. I want a disc.

Upon hearing this news, I also am exploring solutions to this crisis. Here's my solution. No physical disc? NO MONEY.

Avatar image for deathdemon89

Well congratulations Mr. O'Connor, you sure "shocked and surprised" me.

Avatar image for nazgoroth

This reminds me of that wolfenstein collector's edition that didn't include the actual game at all.

The gaming industry is seriously ill right now.

Avatar image for Alucard1475

"And the way that people play console games in particular is continuing to evolve more and more towards digital."

Enjoy your physical discs while you still can.

Avatar image for deathstream


They make great coasters. Other than that, all digital has been wonderful for me this generation.

Avatar image for dutch2099

@deathstream: A lot of hardcore gamers are the "collector" type. The physical copy is something we can keep, sell, or drag out and play years from now. Digital media doesn't offer that because the chances of something happening to your console to render it useless increases more and more as time goes on. If someone trips in my gameroom and crushes a disc, I lose 1 game, if they were to trip and land on your console, you lose everything. And thanks (quite handily) to the EULA, the maker of the console doesn't have to recompense you for your loss, because you never really "owned" the game in the first place. You are "allowed" to play it for as long as MS or SONY deems, and if they decide to pull the game, or kill the servers, you cant say jack.

I'm not bashing your view on digital distribution, but there are some drawbacks to it that I simply cannot accept. If the industry ever goes full digital, I'm out.

Avatar image for NX75

@dutch2099: that's not true. In fact, the opposite is true: If someone tripped and knocked over your game shelf and shattered all your discs, you'd be entirely screwed. If they shattered your console with all your digital games on it, you'd be able to buy a new one and re download all your games at absolutely no cost.

Yes, if Microsoft or Sony go out of business and the servers go offline, then you couldn't download them again if your console dies. But if you notice, that's the super scary, post-apocalyptic situation you're in from day one when you buy the game on a disc. If your disc gets even a little scratch, it's game over; you're out $60. Microsoft and Sony won't just give you another copy if you ask. And that is what you prefer? THAT'S the risky situation you say you cannot accept. And I agree with you; there's no reason to accept it. So buy digitally.

Avatar image for NX75

@lim30041982: You're confusing digital games with games as a service; with 'always on'. Don't worry, it's a very common confusion. All games are digital; they're all ones and zeroes. And those ones and zeroes are all stored on discs. Hard drives are enclosures that house... discs. It doesn't really matter which disc your game's ones and zeroes are stored on.

1. Game server down - If you're playing an MMO and the server goes down, you can't keep playing it. It's a multiplayer game, so that makes sense. But if you buy a single-player game, it doesn't matter if you bought it digitally to your hard drive or digitally on a removable disc, because it's still a single-player game. If the servers you downloaded the game go down after you've downloaded it to your hard drive, it's still a single-player game. You can, in fact, still play it. You can take it to a cabin in the middle of the woods without any kind of internet connection whatsoever and still play the game just fine, disc or no disc.

2. Hacking - What are you worried about here? You're worried someone will hack your console or your account and, like, steal your games? A DDOS to take the servers down isn't a hack, but like I said, you don't need the servers to play either way.

3. Your ISP is down - That won't stop you from playing your games.

4. Take the disc to a friend's house - You don't need to take your console, no, just sign in on their console and download the game. You have access to your entire library, not just the discs you bring over. But hey, I can hear what you're saying out loud as you read that, and I agree it'll take a really long time to download it. You're right. Too long. Last generation, we could just pop in the disc and start playing right away, which is so much faster, but these days, even if you're using a disc, you have to install the game anyway, and that takes time. Storage space, too. Not to mention the big patches you have to download before you can play online. It all takes time either way. In the interest of fairness, though, I have to admit that it's still faster when using a disc in this case. Well, the first time. For every time afterward, it'll be instant, so just as fast as using a disc. And you won't have to take anything with you, so there's that.

5. Game trading - Totally a legitimate issue. The second-hand market and swapping with friends goes away with digital, and there's no way around it.

6. If I replace my console, do I need to download all my games again? - Yes. What's the problem? Just download the ones you want to play when you want to play them, as always. Remember, if you lost all your discs, you wouldn't have to download them all again, you'd have to BUY them all again, and I would say that's much worse.

7. Etcetera times a hundred? Ooh, you got me there. I can't argue with that solid piece of logic...

Uh, yeah, you can store your discs in a binder to save space. Sounds good. Just be careful with all your eggs when they're in one basket like that. Someone could pretty easily step on it and crack every one of your games, forcing you to re-buy your entire collection at great cost. And of course, the wear and scratches on them that build up over time will claim them eventually. You just don't have to worry about those things when buying digitally.

Avatar image for NX75

@lim30041982: 1. See, Diablo 3 is a good example, because you need to be connected to the internet to play it even if you bought it on a disc. Of course, that's the PC version we're talking about, because you don't need an internet connection to play the console version, disc or no. Again, digital distribution is not the same thing as that "connection required" stuff that we both agree is horrible. I don't want any single-player game to require an internet connection. It's just that it's irrelevant to whether you buy games digitally or on a disc. They can make a game require a constant connection either way, and they did with Diablo 3, as you pointed out, proving as much.

2. Okay, so credit card information can be stolen. True, but that shouldn't stop you from using credit cards. If you're just advocating that society return to using only cash so that we can foil all the credit card hackers out there, I feel you're getting off topic.

3. You're right; if your internet went down just as the game you wanted to download came out, then you couldn't download it. By the same token, if your car broke down instead, you wouldn't be able to go get the physical copy; going digital would be your only choice. See, the argument can easily go both ways.

4. If you're equating an internet connection with Ferraris and personal jets, I don't even know what planet you're living on.

Naturally, I always recommend that people keep good care of their games and consoles. What I'm saying is that, should an accident happen to your discs, they're gone, and you'd have to pay to replace each and every one, whereas if something should happen to your console, your digital library of games will all still be there when you replace it.

It'll still cost you hundreds of dollars to replace your console, of course, but if you have even a modest collection of games, that's easily less than you'd otherwise have to pay to replace your discs, so I feel it's LESS of a risk to go digital, especially if you store all your discs in one place.

Like I said before, if you buy your games used and sell them when you're done with them, then of course digital isn't an option. That makes perfect sense. I'm not trying to talk you out of doing that if that's your thing. I just wanted to make sure you understood the difference between "digital distribution" and "connection required", because they're two completely separate things and you deserve to know the difference. You had some bad information, and I feel it's important to have the facts so that one can make informed decisions.

If that used copy of Bloodborne is that much cheaper on Amazon than on PSN, then that's a totally legitimate reason to get it on disc, and I have absolutely no problem with that. Have at it.

Myself, I like to get stuff on day one, so I have games pre-loaded and ready to go at midnight. It's the ultimate in convenience, and no more expensive. I don't have to worry about losing the ability to play my games if my connection goes down, and they can't be lost, scratched, or stolen. I can even switch to a different game without getting up off the couch. It's an amazing future we live in.