It's a bit of a bummer that Halo 5: Guardians
isn't set to release until sometime next year
, but on the bright side, some semi-new content is coming soon. In Microsoft's
continuing effort to milk the popular franchise -- and rightfully so, we might add -- the Redmond outfit announced that it will be shipping Halo: The Master Chief Collection
in time to celebrate Halo 2
's 10-year anniversary on November 11, 2014.
The package will include Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3,
and Halo 4
all crammed onto a single disc with a $59.99 MSRP. However, this isn't just a mere repackaging of previously released titles. Microsoft is planning to include several new bonus content and enhancements. For example, the collection will take advantage of the Xbox One's horsepower to run at 60 frames per second. You can also expect visual upgrades with better shadowing, reflection, lighting effects, and more.
In addition to this, Halo 2
will sport overhauled cinematics that "received a retina-searing makeover courtesy of Blur Studios," the same outfit that's bringing movie style magic to a new prologue and epilogue in Halo 5: Guardians.
There will also be new narratives, along with a cool feature where gamers can switch between the title's original visual presentation and the optimized version with the touch of a button. All this, plus half a dozen map remakes built from scratch for the Xbox One.
franchise is the reason Xbox is here today," Xbox chief Phil Spencer said at E3.
There's a lot of truth to that statement. The Halo
franchise could also play a role in Microsoft's ability to sell more Xbox One consoles and maybe close the gap with Sony's PlayStation 4. The PS4 has been outselling the Xbox One, but it was only recently that Microsoft decided to offer a Kinect-less version
of its game system for $100 less, thereby matching the price of the PS4. It's no coincident that Microsoft is now focusing on games more than ever, whereas beforehand it was pushing the Xbox One as the ultimate living room device.