After rumors that Halo Infinite could end up being delayed until 2022 and it’s Xbox One version would be scrapped, developer 343 Industries has come out and said the next installment of the Halo series is on track for 2021.
We previously reported that according to a Microsoft insider going by the name of ‘sponger’ on the Resetera forums, Halo Infinite is undergoing a lot of work to get it in shape for the Xbox Series X. So much so that Xbox One support for the game might be dropped.
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“I was considering a lot to post it or not, but after [a] few consultations with few different sources I'll put it; Microsoft/343i is currently very busy with idea of dropping Xbox One support for Halo Infinite,” the claimed insider said. ”Even [the] idea to postpone it to early 2022 is on the table. It's pretty messy up there with decisions but they are convinced that they need to make [the] best Halo game ever.”
While sponger has previously leaked information about Avowed, a first-party Xbox RPG, we suggested you take this information with a hefty pinch of salt. That’s because Microsoft has committed to bringing every first-party Xbox game to both the Xbox Series X and Xbox One for the next two years.
And it turns out that a healthy dose of scepticism was needed, as John Junyszek, community manager for Halo at 343 Industries, poured cold water on the smouldering rumors of further delays and problems with Halo infinite.
“There are no plans to change our 2021 release or the devices and platforms we'll be supporting,” Junyszek tweeted in response to a Halo fan asking about the delay rumors. “We're building Halo Infinite to be the best it can be on each device/platform.”
Why am I reading rumors of Halo Infinite being delayed until 2022 .. please say it ain’t soAugust 25, 2020
It would have been very odd for Microsoft to drop Xbox One support for Halo Infinite. And judging by the look of the game in the last Xbox 20/20 showcase in July, Halo Infinite looks like it’s been designed with the Xbox One hardware in mind. The disappointed reaction to the game’s graphics had Microsoft come out and say that the demo wasn’t running on Xbox Series X hardware and that the next-generation version will look a lot better.
Halo Infinite development woes
The delay of Halo Infinite's release seemed in part to be a move to address concerns over the game’s visuals. But developer 343 Industries attributed the delay to problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic interfering with the aim of delivering a “Halo game experience that meets our vision.”
Challenges thrown up by COVID-19 may have seeped deep into 343 Industries, but pushing back Halo Infinite beyond 2021 doesn't seem likely, particularly as the game looks like it needs a bit of polish rather than a redesign.
However, delays could potentially mean 343 Industries focuses on only delivering an Xbox Series X and PC version of Halo Infinite in 2021, with an Xbox One version coming a bit later. We don’t fully buy into that, but the overall delay would suggest that development of Halo infinite hasn't been smooth.
The delay of Halo Infinite leaves the Xbox Series X without one of its biggest-name titles. As a result, the next-generation Xbox could launch with no major first-party games, with titles such as Fable 4 and Forza Motorsport 8 looking like they're a ways out.
This will be good news for the PS5, as Sony’s strategy seems to be all about selling a lot of next-gen consoles. So having a machine that has an expansive range of exclusive games at or near launch, such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales, could see the PS5 come out on top at launch.
Given Microsoft’s aim is to create an Xbox ecosystem rather than sell vast amounts of Xbox Series X consoles, it will arguably weather the Halo Infinite delay and any effect that has on console sales. And ultimately, an improved version of Halo Infinite will be better for Microsoft and Xbox in the long-term.