As part of the Xbox E3 2019 briefing, Microsoft announced that Halo Infinite will be a launch title for next-generation Xbox, which is codenamed Project Scarlett. Any time a new Halo game is released it is a big deal, but news that Halo Infinite is a launch title for the new console platform is especially noteworthy.
That’s because Halo hasn’t been a launch title for new Xbox hardware since all the way back in 2001 when Halo: Combat Evolved was released alongside the original Xbox.
Halo 2 was released in 2004, a year prior to the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005. Halo 3 was released in 2007, which was a full six years before the Xbox One came out in 2013. Halo 5 launched in October 2015, two years into the Xbox One’s lifecycle. Halo Infinite, however, will launch day and date with the new Xbox Scarlett.
Halo Infinite will be playable on the entire Xbox family of devices, as well as PC. That means it’ll also play on Xbox One S and Xbox One X. Given the incredible specs of the new Scarlett system, Halo Infinite is likely to look and play best on that system (at least on console; PC players can crank it up as high as their PC will allow).
Halo Infinite being a launch title may help improve sales of the next-generation Xbox. However, unlike with previous console generations, older hardware is also supported so people will not need to buy the new Scarlett console to play it.
Project Scarlett is the name of Microsoft’s wider plan for next-generation consoles, according to Brad Sams. The console discussed during the Xbox E3 briefing is the one that’s codenamed Anaconda, according to Sams, while a lower-spec model known under the working title Lockhart is also reportedly in the works.
The original Halo was instrumental in helping the OG Xbox get off the ground, and Microsoft may be looking for Halo Infinite to be similarly important for Scarlett. Halo Infinite runs on a brand-new engine, Slipspace, and Microsoft might be looking to Halo Infinite to be a showcase of what the engine is capable of achieving, though this only speculation.
The new Halo Infinite trailer focused on the game’s story. We saw Master Chief in a tough spot before he gets rebooted–but without Cortana. The game is a “spiritual reboot,” so it remains to see what kind of story it will tell. But we do know Master Chief is the focus of it.
It might be a while before we see and learn more about Halo Infinite. Developer 343 Industries says it will stay dark until E3 2020 where it plans to talk about Halo Infinite more. It is always possible plans could change, but that seems to be the plan for now.