Whiile news surrounding Halo Infinite has been next to non existent since its delay back in August, fans are still expecting big things from the next installment in the franchise. Releasing 5 years after its predecesor in the mainline, Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries hopes to regain confidence from the fan base in a game that was originally planned to release with Microsoft's new console lineup, Xbox Series X and Series S.
Recently, the developer teased new updates surrounding Halo Infinite to come this December, and now big names within the Microsoft hierarchy have been quizzed on how they feel the delay of the game has affected the Series console's launch.
In an interview with The Verge, Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, commented on how he feels the delay of Halo Infinite has impacted the launch of the new Xbox consoles. He says the delay will allow for a better game overall, but admits that "[Halo] was a miss on our part."
We wanted Halo at launch. We thought it would have been a real cultural moment for us as Xbox. Last time we had done that was the original Xbox and Halo: CE.
I wouldn’t change the decision based on the right game, [a] healthy situation for the team, and how they’re working. Absolutely, it’s something that we had planned for, Bonnie Ross who runs the studio and I, to have Halo there. In the long run, I think what’s going to happen is we’re going to get a better Halo game at a good time when people can actually get a console. I feel good about that. I think the game will be better for the time that we’re giving it.
Continuing on in the interview, Spencer was keen to remind fans that whilst Halo Infinite had indeed been delayed and was unavailable as a launch title for Xbox players, there are still multiple other games to play from day one, with multiple being available via Xbox Games Pass.
I do think there’s some great launch games that are there to go play, that maybe get lost in this dialogue about who’s got the better launch lineup, which is a downside. I’m playing a lot of Tetris Effect from my friend, Mizuguchi, and the team, and it’s awesome.
WHAT THIS MEANS
The delay of Halo Infinite highlighted the real lack of big hitters from Xbox's launch library of games. Whilst yes, as Phil Spencer mentions, games such as Tetris Effect: Connected are are big hit with players making the switch to the next generation, there's no doubt that the next Halo game would have had a huge impact on sales from day one for Microsoft. They do not seem too worried about this however, as they have openly discussed their desire for Xbox Games Pass to become the centre of everything for Xbox players.
Whilst time will tell whether the postponement of the game has had a positive impact on the final product, it seems as though Microsoft is yet to regret their decision. The game may not have the same hype it would have originally built up if it was to release on day one, yet fans will still be eagerly waiting for more news, and more importantly, a release date.