Ever since Microsoft announced that ‘Halo: Infinite’, the latest game in the Halo franchise was to be delayed to 2021, there’s been much discussion as to whether giving it a ‘Holiday 2020’ release was the right move at all.
With the gameplay-video showcasing a game that looked fun to play, but looked like a launch title for Xbox One, questions were and are still abound as to how much of the game is in a final state.
With Microsoft’s commitment to have their games on not just the Series X, but PC and Xbox One as well, questions have been raised as to whether they’re letting themselves spread to thinly, and the focus has been lost.
Over the weekend, a possibility was raised of the Xbox One version to be cancelled, so that the team could have a Series X version of ‘Halo: Infinite’ ready earlier than expected. Here’s why that won’t be happening.
Needs of the Many
A poster at the ‘Resetera’ site, had said on Sunday the 23rd of August that the team were considering to delay the Xbox One release of Halo Infinite, due to the massive performance issues that they are experiencing.
Couple that with them also considering a ‘2022’ release, it looks as though it’s code red at 343i and Microsoft. But this simply won’t be something that will occur.
Microsoft have already put themselves into a bind because of the ‘Smart Delivery’ messaging; some don’t know just what games are exclusive to the Series X, while others think that buying an Xbox One game from November allows them to upgrade to better graphical features without paying a fee.
Now, Microsoft are in the crosshairs of realising that developing one of the biggest tentpole games for their newest console is now in danger of being maligned even before it releases.
Needs of the One
But the company can’t cancel the Xbox One release from a business and PR perspective; they can’t be seen as losing face of cancelling a game for Xbox One, as that also sets down a precedent for other companies to do the same.
I imagine this method of games appearing on more than the Series X was to help the console gain some footing in its first year, then from 2022, exclusive games that could directly take advantage of the hardware, leaving the Xbox One to disappear.
A ‘Spring 2021’ release for the game looks to be the safer option, but with the Xbox One version being put into the limelight, and potentially being made to be the scapegoat for the game’s issues, it may be best for Microsoft and 343i to just bring out the game as ‘episodic’.
Granted, Phil Spencer mentioned that they decided against this, but when it comes to Xbox One, it could be the better option in the long-run. The Hitman series benefited greatly from it, and if the story allows, perhaps ‘Halo: Infinite’ could as well.
But right now, both companies are in damage-control for the game; it’s yet another example of them hyping up a product that hasn’t met expectations. But hopefully this and the ‘Inside Xbox’ showcase from May will help steer the ship of the game, and the Series X into a better light.