The Xbox Series X finally has a release date. Sort of. Microsoft has announced that the Xbox Series X will debut in November 2020 — but its highly anticipated launch title, Halo Infinite, won’t see the light of day until 2021.
Information comes from an Xbox Wire (opens in new tab) blog post by Will Tuttle, the publication’s editor-in-chief. In the second paragraph, Tuttle reiterates the console’s release date:
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“There will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November.”
Naturally, fans probably wanted something a little more specific — as well as a price to go along with it — but this is what we have for right now. The rest of the post reiterates things we already knew. The Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with almost all Xbox One titles and dozens of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. Third-party games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Destiny 2 will have both current- and next-gen versions, and will optimize automatically based on your console of choice. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will host a variety of titles as soon as they come out, including The Medium and Tetris Effect: Connected.
The Halo Infinite delay seems to be the only substantial piece of new information in the post, which Tuttle claims is necessary for “balancing the team’s well-being.” A development update on the Halo website cites “ongoing COVID-related impacts.”
“It is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday,” the post explains.
It’s perhaps not coincidental that the Xbox Wire post spends a lot of time describing the Xbox Series X’s backwards compatibility features, including 4K resolutions and 120 frames-per-second frame rates for certain older titles. If the Xbox Series X is going to launch without a Halo title, then having thousands of other games to play is certainly a feather in the system’s cap. On the other hand, launching with thousands of titles is arguably less compelling if gamers have already played the vast majority of them on Xbox One (and Xbox 360, and the original Xbox).
Since Microsoft hasn’t revealed an exact launch lineup for the Xbox Series X, it’s hard to say whether there will be must-have title at launch. In the meantime, all we can say is that the system will be out in November, one way or the other, and that its star attraction (up until now) will follow it sometime next year.