Halo Infinite Delayed To 2021, Won't Launch With Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X also confirmed for November release, but without Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite has been delayed. The highly anticipated Xbox and PC game was originally set to launch alongside the Xbox Series X during the holiday season this year, but the release date has been pushed back to 2021. A firm new release date has not been set, but it appears Microsoft is willing to give the game the time it needs to better meet fans' expectations, leaving the Xbox Series X without a standout launch title this year. It also leaves Halo: Combat Evolved as the only game in the series to ever launch alongside an Xbox console.
"Today I want to share an important Halo Infinite development update with the community. We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision," reads a statement on the 343 Industries Twitter.
"The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year. I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.
"We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment. The passion and support the community has shown over the years has been incredible and inspiring. We wanted nothing more than to play our game with the community this holiday. The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect. Thank you for your support and understanding."
In the wake of the delay for Halo Infinite, people from across the gaming world have shared their thoughts on what the delay means and more.
Halo Infinite was most recently shown during an Xbox Series X showcase. Microsoft has talked up how the game would be quite different from previous entries in the franchise and Xbox box boss Phil Spencer also said Halo Infinite is rethinking the structure of a Halo game. Subsequently, we learned that Halo Infinite is intended to serve as a long-term platform for the franchise. Spencer made the decision to delay the game only shortly before the announcement was made. Speaking on the talk show Animal Talking, he said the team considered releasing only part of the game this year, but ultimately he decided against it.
In terms of gameplay, new ideas manifested in the form of unique new features such as a map--hinting at a more open-world structure--and a grappling hook, which displayed a new dynamic to combat. Visually, Infinite looked to be harkening back to the very first Halo, with bright, colorful vistas of green fields, blue skies, and monolithic structures.
The game did receive some criticism for its visual fidelity, which Microsoft defended in the time following the showcase. Observers pointed out the low texture quality and argued that it didn't show off the power of the Xbox Series X to the degree they expected. 343 Industries noted that it understands the criticisms and the feedback is "not falling on deaf ears."
343 Industries also said Halo Infinite will get better-looking after launch, as the studio is planning a ray-tracing update for sometime after release. The art style, however, isn't likely to change. A new figure available for purchase better shows off the Master Chief's new armor, which doesn't feature the complex level of detail from designs used in more recent Halo titles.
More recently, 343 Industries announced that the multiplayer component of Halo Infinite will be free-to-play and will support 120 frames per second on Xbox Series X. Further details on its multiplayer will be revealed at a later date. Thus far, we haven't seen any footage of the Halo Infinite multiplayer. It was previously confirmed that the multiplayer will be available at launch. Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently said that Halo Infinite's multiplayer was "special" and the team worked alongside professional Halo players to fine-tune the experience.
Alongside the Halo Infinite delay announcement, Microsoft revealed Xbox Series X's release date is set for November 2020, "with thousands of games spanning four generations." Microsoft outlined some of these titles in a blog post on the Xbox Wire and also highlighted bells and whistles some of them will enjoy on Xbox Series X.
"We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives: There will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles, built to take full advantage of our most powerful console, are planned for this year. And with brand new console features like hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, framerates up to 120 frames per second, faster loading times, and Quick Resume for multiple games, playing will look and feel better, no matter which games you choose to play on day one.
"Playing your favorite games and franchises across four generations of Xbox was a key tenet for us in the next generation of console gaming. This commitment means that you will have access to thousands of titles across four generations of content--from Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
"Our back compat team continues to develop new innovations that can be applied to a curated list of titles that will enhance them even further than was possible when they were originally created. These optimizations include the ability to render titles with increased resolutions up to 4K, delivering new HDR reconstruction techniques to games that were developed years before HDR came into existence, applying anisotropic filtering to improve image quality, and creating ways to increase or double the frame rate of certain titles."
Halo Infinite News & Announcements