That's according to Aaron Greenberg, marketing manager at Xbox, who made the claim in an interview with Inside Gaming's Alanah Pearce that the demo shown at the showcase was from an early build of the game. Pearce then discussed his comments in more detail in a second video (via Wccftech).
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“We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s July, we’re far from Holiday, you’re seeing a work-in-progress game," says Greenberg. "That said, you’ve probably watched the stream in 1080p, maybe. So we’ve put up a 4K 60[fps] on-demand stream. Go look at the game in 4K and 60FPS.”
While Greenberg says that the game is still unfinished, he also pins some of the blame for the negative reception on the event's stream quality. “It’s very hard to show the full power and graphic fidelity of what Xbox Series X will be able to deliver for you over a stream. So go back and look at it in 4K and 60 fps.
"The only thing I’ll just say is, it’s a work-in-progress. So, what’re seeing today, and I can tell you because we see check-in builds every week, and they [343 Industries] made progress week after week. Between now and Holiday, it’s just going to get better and better."
The reason for fans' criticism seems to come down to a mixture of art style and graphical fidelity, as Halo Infinite looks more stylized than previous installments of the game. This would likely be accepted happily at a different point in time, but not during the run-up to a new console generation when the gaming world becomes laser-focused on realism.
I sincerely hope these are not the graphics we will see in the final version of Halo Infinite. I know it was a 'demo' but this doesn't look next-gen. This doesn't look like it's being powered by "the world's most powerful console." pic.twitter.com/Yg5BxrS4kfJuly 23, 2020
At least there seemed to be little disagreement on how the game looked to play. Halo Infinite will be the first open-world title in the series, and also sees Master Chief armed with a grappling hook alongside his normal arsenal of human and alien weaponry. Combined with a return to the Halo ring setting that the series began with in Halo: Combat Evolved, there's a good mix of nostalgia and innovation on offer.
The Xbox Series X is expected to appear on store shelves this November, with the PS5 no doubt releasing around the same time. The two consoles share features like SSD storage and ray-tracing graphics, but while the Xbox Series X sports a more powerful GPU and Smart Delivery cross-platform purchases, Sony has given the PS5 a focus on immersion with the redesigned DualSense controller and 3D audio.