Microsoft and Halo developer 343 Industries have finally begun spilling a few beans on what awaits fans in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection's PC release, as well as cross-play and Xbox Play Anywhere details for the collection. Despite being somewhat low-key in recent years, Halo looks to be coming back in a big way in 2019. Microsoft was keen to confirm that Master Chief would finally be returning to PC, before also announcing that the long-absent Halo: Reach will be joining the MCC lineup eventually too.
Not content on ending there, 343 Industries further celebrated by releasing a pepperoni pizza-themed set of gun skins for Halo 5 : Guardians. That particular release was a bit of an inside joke to fans of the first-person shooter series after they sent a number of pizzas to 343i as a way to say thank you to the development team for bringing Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PC. Things have been quiet following the announcement though, prompting some to wonder when more details will be arriving as we inch closer to this summer's E3 event where it's expected that Xbox will be the dominant force (Sony is not coming this year for the first time ever).
Wanting to provide an update for eager PC users, Halo Community Director Brian Jarrard (via Windows Central) spoke during the Halo Championship Series (HCS) Invitational about the potential for cross-play between both existing versions of MCC. Admittedly, he was evasive about outright answering one way or the other, but refused to write cross-play for the collection out entirely.
"I think people have asked a lot about cross-play. And I think there's two different discussions there. I should say on PC, you're going to get the same great experience regardless of which store you buy it from, right? [We] want players to have a choice there. Certainly, whether you pick it up on the Windows Store or Steam, you'll play together, that's not a problem."
"The real question on people's mind is can I play Xbox against PC? And truth be told right now, we are really focused on making sure that we can bring these games to PC in the right way. But the team would love to hear feedback on this and as we get further down the road, it's something I think we're going to have to evaluate, and if it's something that the community wants and makes sense, I think the team wants to make it happen. But right now, we really need to focus on getting these PC products out the right way."
Studio head at 343 Industries, Bonnie Ross, also chimed in on the possibility of Xbox Play Anywhere support for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. For anyone unfamiliar with the label, this would allow those that own the Halo collection to also own the game on Windows PC without having to buy it again. Ross hinted that this could very well happen too, stating that the team will "have more to announce" once the title is closer to launch.
"I think one of the questions we've gotten is will MCC PC support Xbox Play Anywhere. And first off I wanted to say, we so appreciate all the support we've had from Xbox One community with MCC, and we're obviously bringing Reach to MCC. And while MCC shipped before the XPA Play Anywhere [program], we are exploring ways to make sure we show our appreciation and recognition for the support we've had from the amazing fans on MCC. And we'll have more to announce once we get closer to launch."
It's clear that there are big plans for Xbox's flagship franchise on the horizon, with more details on Halo Infinite arriving at E3 2019. Meanwhile, the eventuality of Microsoft's "Netflix for games" service will see to it that Halo is available across a range of hardware, including mobile devices and potentially even Nintendo's Switch console. Add in the ongoing development of a Halo television show, and it's evident that fans have a lot to look forward to from the IP.
Source: Windows Central