The lights are on
Last E3, Microsoft announced during its E3 press conference that there would be a Halo game in 2014 for the Xbox One. Today, however, the company says that the next Halo title in the series' main storyline won't come out until well into 2015.
The game – called Halo 5: Guardians – is currently scheduled for a fall release on the system.
No single reason was given for the 2015 release date, but Halo franchise director at 343 Industries, Frank O'Connor, says that the new Halo is a massive undertaking. "It's a really big project. It's a big project in terms of moving over to the Xbox One. It's also bigger in terms of scope and scale in the size of the already quite big Halo universe."
A part of the project's size is the fact that it's utilizing a new engine. "With Halo 4 we talked about how we had gone back to the drawing board on a couple of features of that engine, but it was really an iteration of the existing Halo engine. This is a new platform with much more capacity and much more power, and on a different architecture." O'Connor also mentioned how the tech in Halo 5 would serve as the foundation for the series on the platform.
Speaking directly to last year's E3 speech by 343 Industries general manager Bonnie Ross when she said there would be a new Xbox One Halo in 2014, O'Connor says that at the time the developer knew that Halo 5 wouldn't be ready in 2014. "I don't want to speak for Bonnie, but she was very careful in the way that she worded her E3 stage speech last year, because we knew that Halo 5 was going to take three years to make it the right game..."
Here's what Ross said last E3 when she announced the first Halo for Xbox One:
"...Today we're here to announce Halo's debut on Xbox One. A Halo FPS for a new generation of hardware that will take full advantage of the power and flexibility of Xbox One. A Halo engine enhanced by the power of cloud computing, dedicated servers, and for the first time on console – a Halo experience that runs at a blistering 60 frames per second. In 2014, Halo combat will truly evolve, and your journey with Halo on Xbox One begins."
So if Ross wasn't referring to Halo 5, then what was she talking about in 2014? We'll probably have to wait until Microsoft talks more about its software plans for Xbox One at its E3 2014 press conference on June 9.
Our TakeDespite Ross and 343's careful wording, I don't see Halo fans sated by this explanation of semantics. As for what Xbox One Halo title 343 has up its sleeve for 2014, I have a hard time imagining it will be as warmly received as Halo 5 would have been.
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