Xbox One X Enhanced Versions of Original Halo Games Pushed to 2018

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Xbox One with 12 Comments

Xbox One X Enhanced Versions of Original Halo Games Pushed to 2018

We’ve known for some time that Microsoft would remaster its Halo series of games in 4K and HDR for Xbox One X. But now we have more details, including the fact that we won’t see most of these updates until next year.

Work on the updates to the games in Halo: The Master Chief Collection is “now underway,” Microsoft’s Halo account tweeted yesterday. That’s no surprise—I assume this work started many months ago—but that small bit of good news is hiding an underlying disappointing: That work updating the Halo games will not be completed in time for the Xbox One X launch next month.

The Xbox Wire blog provides more information.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection will receive enhancements for Xbox One X, as well as fixes, improvements and upgrades to the core game to help bring it forward and modernize many of the game’s systems to take advantage of Xbox platform advancements since its original launch,” Microsoft’s Brian Jarrard notes.

So that is interesting. The games in Halo: The Master Chief Collection–Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4—aren’t just being remastered for 4K resolutions and HDR. They’re also being updated in other important ways, and I think that may help explain the time needed for these updates.

And Microsoft is trying to take the sting out of this news by providing even more good news: 343 Industries, which now oversees the Halo game series, will publicly roll out updates to Halo: The Master Chief Collection via “iterative patches and updates” that will let it test the changes at a large scale.

“Right now, 343 Industries is targeting kicking this off next spring,” Jarrard explains. “When the time comes, we’ll need the support of our community to help test and provide feedback as we work to update and improve Halo: The Master Chief Collection. We’ll share additional details and timing as plans are locked.”

In addition to the games in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Microsoft also plans to remaster the more recent Halo 5: Guardians release in 4K and HDR, of course. There’s no word of a delay on that work, fortunately, so perhaps we’ll see that update soon.

“The team at 343 Industries has been working closely with Skybox Labs (longtime Halo development partners on various projects including Halo 5: Forge for Windows 10) on enhancements to Halo 5: Guardians for Xbox One X,” Jarrard writes. “This update takes advantage of the extra power of Xbox One X to deliver higher visual fidelity for players who have compatible hardware.”

And in related news, Halo Wars 2—which is also being enhanced for Xbox One X—is getting two exciting additional features: Xbox Arena support and crossplay between Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One.

“The team has worked hard to deliver crossplay for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC and final testing indicates it’s ready for release into the wild,” Microsoft notes. “Cross-play and Arena support and the Xbox One X visual enhancements are all targeted for release in late October.”


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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Xbox One X Enhanced Versions of Original Halo Games Pushed to 2018”

  1. Dragonwyntir

    Also big shout out to 343 for the Local Server app. I know LAN parties are a thing of the past in many ways, but supporting such a cool niche thing for your hardcore is a very nice thing to do. Hoping they expand it to hook into Xbox Arena and maybe Mixer spectator stuff too.

  2. will

    As much as I love the Halo series, I would rather see them spend time on what’s next for this franchise vs “remastering” everything....again. As much as the graphics may be updated I personally do not have any desire to go back and play the games, again. They were great when they launched, but it is time to move the series and franchise forward.

    • Ukumio

      In reply to will:

      The work on Halo MCC (as well as the 4K work on Halo 5) is being handled by an external studio with minimal work being done by 343i so that they can focus on the next Halo title.

  3. Tony Barrett

    Microsoft's checklist for Xbox One X;

    1. Ok team, are we totally, absolutely 100% sure that we have a more powerful console than Sony this time? We don't a repeat of 2013 do we people, and remember, this time it's games, games, games - that's all we talk about.
    2. Forza ready for launch date - check
    3. Halo ready for launch date - check. Um, what? It's not going to be ready? But we don't have anything else!
    4. Um, have we forgotten anything?
  4. BoItmanLives

    And they won't do it for PC even in this desperate Windows 10 store era of pretending to "really care about PC gamers now - this time for real!"

    Ahh Shill Spencer, always full of it.

    • Ukumio

      In reply to BoItmanLives:

      The game came out before the whole play anywhere program, the game has problems on Xbox as it is (hence the need for work to be done) so porting it to PC at this stage would be a nightmare, both for developers and for players.

  5. Mcgillivray

    "343 Industries, which now oversees the Halo game series, will publicly roll out updates to Halo: The Master Chief Collection via “iterative patches and updates” that will let it test the changes at a large scale."

    Isn't that called a Public Beta Test? Not sure I want to pay to be part of that....

  6. NCaffo

    Technically, they never announced that Halo:MCC would get any update at all, and in fact, previously implied that it wouldn't get any update at all, so.....

    Halo 5 on the other hand, the 4k update was announced back in E3, and is on track for November.

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  8. Ronaldo Fernandes

    As much as I appreciate the move, it doesn't makes much sense to update a game after such a long time. The bug fixes are fine but 4K will not make much a difference as all games use XB 360 assets. As such, I wonder if they are hiding something, such as new assets or even a desktop Windows release.