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Halo Infinite Limited Edition Xbox Series X Console Announced... And Falls Prey to Scalpers

Microsoft and 343 Industries, developers of the popular Halo franchise, recently announced at Gamescom 2021 both the release date for Halo Infinite and limited edition products to accompany the launch - and the anniversary for 20 years of Halo. The game drops on December 8th for the Xbox family of devices and PC, but users who want to play immersed in lore can attempt to get themselves the Limited Edition Xbox Series X console, which comes with a custom skin (representing both details of a Spartan's armor as well as the starry skies above Zeta Halo. The green LED behind the top fan has also been changed to Cortana blue, and there are golden details across both the console (the golden Xbox badge is a nice touch) and the custom, skinned controller that comes with the console. For the price of $549,99 including a digital download version of the game, the choice between this one or a regular Xbox Series X console is clear.

Seagate Announces New Lineup of Game Drives for Xbox

Seagate Technology Holdings plc, a world leader in data storage solutions, today announced the new Game Drive Hub for Xbox, Game Drive for Xbox, and Game Drive for Xbox - Halo Infinite Special Edition (SE), taking the company's popular line of storage for gamers to the next level. Built for Xbox gamers demanding peak game storage capacity for today's most advanced games, these new external hard drives are designed to work with Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, or Xbox One, and are compatible with Game Pass.

With minimalist and elegant looks, Game Drive for Xbox and Game Drive Hub for Xbox feature Xbox green LED lighting that complements the modern generation of gaming consoles. Game Drive for Xbox is lightweight in design, making it easy for gamers to take their whole library on-the-go. While both drives are connected and powered with high-speed USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0), Game Drive for Xbox does not need a separate power cord, making it easy for gamers to play from anywhere. Both drives are easily installed through Xbox OS in under two minutes so gamers can launch into action.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta Opening up This Weekend

If you're on the fence about whether or not Halo Infinite will be worth your time, you might just get your chance to find it out for yourself as early as this weekend. 343 Industries has announced the first of a series of technical flightings for the next chapter in the Halo universe, with users being called in an invite-basis to participate in and provide feedback on the multiplayer element of Halo infinite (which will be free to play when the game launches later this year). The gameplay focus is on team fights against bots (a first in the Halo universe) in big arena maps, plus a tutorial system called The Academy, which will feature missions for players to get into the groove of Halo's combat rhythms.

Tempered expectations are best when coming into any games' beta, and 343 Industries has informed players that the current build of the game being deployed for this flighting is some two to three months old compared to the games' current development stage - so there is some leeway to pardon their dust. If you want to get a taste of Halo's famed arena combat, you'll have to sign-up to the Halo Insider initiative, where you can choose the platform of choice for participation in the flighting program. If you choose PC as your platform, there are some other hoops to jump through; you'll have to send Microsoft a diagnostic of your system's DxDiag report, as well as connect your Steam account via the Halo Insider program. Meet you there, Spartan.

Xbox Updates Its Lineup of Platform Exclusive Games: Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Starfield, and More

Microsoft's console and gaming division, Xbox, has been working closely with game studios and game developers for years now, and in return for supporting the creation of games, the company gets its platform exclusivity, where the game is only available on Xbox series of consoles. Today, Xbox has decided to unveil a hefty list composing out of AAA titles exclusive to the Xbox Series X|S consoles. Starting off, we have the Forza Horizon 5 game, which delivers the experience of the open world of Mexico, while allowing you to drive the world's greatest cars. The game is set to become available on November 9 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, PC via Steam on Windows, and Cloud Gaming service, which is in Beta.

Next up is a collaboration with 343 Industries game studio, which has unveiled its next-generation Halo shooter gameplay. Dubbed Halo Infinite, the game is a massive experience set in the world of Halo, which also includes a free-to-play multiplayer element aiming to bring millions of people together across Xbox consoles, cloud, and PC to join the fight. When it comes to new franchises, we have seen the announcement of Redfall, a co-op first-person shooter that sets you in a small island town of Redfall, which has now fallen to the pandemic of vampires, and your goal is to put it to the end. Coming from Arkane Austin, the developers of Prey and Dishonored, the game is sure to be a quality one.

343 Industries Showcases Halo Infinite PC Screenshots

343 Industries, a game developer and maker of the Halo game series, has today released 4K screenshots of their upcoming PC title called Halo Infinite game. The company has been providing players with regular updates regarding the game development and showing a bit of how the whole process is looking like. What the developers have in their heads when developing something like this, and what are their goals to achieve. For someone interested in that, these monthly updates are very valuable reads. Today, however, we are in for a surprise. Halo Infinite PC screenshots have been revealed and we get a hint of what is to come.

Showcasing Zeta Halo, one of the seven rings in the Halo Array, located in the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, we get to see the beautiful open world the developers are creating. The main spotlight of the graphics is centered around the day-nigh changes, which are supposed to feature raytracing technology and use the latest advancements in graphics. Below, you can take a look at the world of rings and see some game scenes for yourself. For a full 4K images, please head over to the Halo Infinite blog post update.
More pictures follow.

Halo 4 Coming to PC via The Master Chief Collection Come November 17th

The final title in Halo: The Master Chief Collection is coming to your PC in November 17th. 343 Industries will finally be adding the final game that's been part of the collection since its debut release in the Xbox family six years ago. As all other games in the PC version, this one will feature improved graphics, support for multiple resolutions and aspect ratios, as well as increased FPS limits. The game is available standalone for $10, or as part of The Master Chief Collection which retails for $39 (and includes Halo Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and now Halo 4). You can also get the game through Xbox Game Pass, of course - whether the all-inclusive version or the PC-only one.

Seagate Announces Game Drive for Xbox Halo: Master Chief Limited Edition

Teaming with 343 Industries, Seagate today announced the latest addition to its popular line of storage for gamers - Game Drive for Xbox Halo: Master Chief Limited Edition. Celebrating the legendary Master Chief from the Halo video game franchise, this limited edition Game Drive features a one-of-a-kind sleek case design that celebrates the Master Chief John-117. A limited Master Chief vinyl die-cut sticker set also comes in the box for fans to collect. The new drive is available in 2 TB and 5 TB capacities so gamers can install more games and downloadable game content by balancing their gaming workload between console and external HDD.

Gamers can easily begin their Halo journey as the Game Drive is compatible with and automatically recognized by the full family of Xbox One devices, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S consoles, and easily installed in under two minutes through Xbox OS. It is USB 3.2 Gen 1 bus powered and does not need a separate power cord to play so fans can unite in their mission from anywhere. Users can play legacy games and archive next generation games on the Game Drive which can store more than 502 downloaded games.

Rockstar Games Acquires Ruffian Games

Rockstar Games is proud to announce that it has acquired Ruffian Games. Based in Dundee, Scotland, the studio will operate under the new name of Rockstar Dundee. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. "We are thrilled to have Ruffian join the Rockstar Games family," said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. "The Ruffian team are a talented addition to Rockstar's global studios, and we look forward to working together on future projects."

Founded in 2008 by Gary Liddon and Billy Thomson, Ruffian partnered with Microsoft to work on the Crackdown series, and with 343 Industries on Halo: Reach from the Halo Master Chief Collection, among many other projects. Ruffian's talented team of just over 40 have a depth of development experience that even includes some early Rockstar titles from the Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt series. Both Liddon and Thomson will remain on-board as Co-Studio Directors of Rockstar Dundee.

Xbox Series X Launches this November with Thousands of Games Spanning Four Generations

Today, we announced updates to Halo Infinite's launch timing. Our vision at Xbox and 343 Industries has always been to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever for our fans, while also balancing the team's well-being. To do that, we will need some more time to finish the critical work necessary to launch Halo Infinite, which will come in 2021.

We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives: there will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles, built to take full advantage of our most powerful console, are planned for this year. And with brand new console features like hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, framerates up to 120 frames per second, faster loading times, and Quick Resume for multiple games, playing will look and feel better, no matter which games you choose to play on day one.

Halo Infinite Delayed Until 2021

343 Industries have recently announced that Halo Infinite will be delayed from a November 2020 launch to a as of yet unknown 2021 launch date. This comes as a major blow to the Xbox Series X which was planned to have Halo Infinite as a headliner launch title. The team explained how COVID-19 had introduced new development challenges and that the extra time will allow them to complete critical work on the game. Hopefully this delay will bring a better, more polished Halo title.
Chris Lee 343 Industries Studio HeadThe decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year. I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.

Xbox Games Showcase Post-Mortem: Halo Infinite, Fable, Forza, and Many Others Revealed

Today, Microsoft held a long-awaited reveal for many upcoming games that the company hopes will justify bringing players into their ecosystem. Whether via their existing Xbox devices or through the next-generation Xbox Series X and gaming PC, the company put on a show showcasing the future of games as they envision them - but many more games from even Microsoft's first-party studios weren't showcased - yet.

The star of the show and opening opus was Halo Infinite, the much-awaited next installment in the Halo saga. The showcase revealed a part of the campaign, with cinematics and gameplay, and it does seem to be another step in the right direction for the franchise. The 8-minute gameplay video showcased the gorgeous environments, particle and sound effects made possible by the new Splipspace Engine in the new Halo game, with a number of impressive new weapons and game mechanics (that grappling hook does seem sweet, doesn't it?). A look at the map reveals an open-world-esque approach to game design, with 343 industries promising the game to be many times bigger than their two previous games, Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, combined. A smooth 60-frames per second and 4K resolution is promised in what will definitely be the Xbox Series X's crown launch jewel. No multiplayer was shown - yet. We expect 343 Industries to start launching Sprint videos on the development of the game in the coming months, and also new game trailers showcasing the mechanics of the game.

Halo 3 Now Available on PC via The Master Chief Collection

343 Industries today released a new update to its The Master Chief Collection, which includes all FPS Halo Games from Halo Reach through Halo 4 (which, in turn, covered two Xbox console releases in the original Xbox and Xbox 360). The new game, like Halo Reach, Halo: combat Evolved Anniversary, and Halo 2 Anniversary, has been ported to PC with most features one would expect. Performance-wise, the game runs pretty well, with an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti achieving 150+ FPS on 4K and maximum quality settings - which is to be expected considering the games' original September 2007 release, and the fact that like Halo Reach, it hasn't been remastered.

It's time to finish the fight (again). In the meantime, check after the break for some 4K screenshots of the game, which still holds up pretty well with a simple resolution increase.

Halo 2: Anniversary Now Available in The Master Chief Collection for PC

Microsoft Game Studios and 343 Industries have released halo 2: Anniversary for the PC platform. Being distributed as a package via The Master Chief Collection (which already includes Halo: Reach and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary), the game takes you through the second installment in the Master Chief's saga to protect humanity from the Covenant. The game has been fully optimized for the PC platform, as have previous releases.

The second installment in the sage features dual-wielding, as well as a dual-character campaign where you'll swap between the POV of the Master Chief and the Arbiter, a Sangheili commander fallen from grace in the wake of the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. The new Anniversary remaster of Halo 2 is a remaster in more than graphics, but in spirit as well, featuring added prologue and epilogue cutscenes, in-game terminals for you to bask in the glorious lore of the Halo universe, and reinterpreted cutscenes made by none-other than the amazing Blur Studios. The game and its contained updates for the Master Chief Collection will come in at 41.5 GB. Halo 2: Anniversary is available stand-alone for €9.99, or as part of The Master Chief Collection, which for €39.99, also includes Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and the storytelling masterpiece that is Halo 4.

Halo 2: Anniversary Releasing on the PC on May 12th as Part of The Master Chief Collection

Another installment in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC is gearing up for release. 343 Industries via its Halo Twitter account has just posted an announcement of the coming release on the second numbered installment on the Halo series. The remastered Halo 2 Anniversary was released as part of the Master Chief Collection's original release for the Xbox One way back in 2014, remastering a 2004 video game.

Halo: Reach PC Version Launches Today

Halo: Reach for PC is going live today, as per confirmations from game developer 343 Industries. The game is supposed to go live tonight at 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST when it will be released on PC and Xbox One. The PC port is going to be available for purchase on three platforms: Game Pass, Steam, and the Windows Store. The PC port currently contains some bugs, however, 343 Industries is working to iron them out before the game launches. Features like uncapped FPS will be mostly unstable during the launch period and might cause the game to crash, so it's better to turn it off for now. Latency issues could also be present in the beginning but 343i is working hard to remove it before the game drops tonight. For all Steam users, you can pre-purchase the game here.

Microsoft to Present First Halo Infinite Gameplay at E3 2019 - On the PC Platform

Tech Journalist Brad Sams, who first reported on Halo: The Master Chief Collection coming to the PC platform before its official announcement, has spilled the beans on another juicy detail regarding the Halo universe: that Microsoft will use this E3 2019 to showcase the first gameplay for the game. This isn't news, really - after last year's tease, it was expected that gameplay would be available this year to whet gamers' appetites. However, the fact that Halo Infinite will be running in the PC platform is newsworthy, since this is quite the departure from previously-known Microsoft, which seemed to relegate its PC gaming ambitions to other developers.

Now, with Microsoft vouching to treat the PC platform as the gaming juggernaut it is, and the already-known information that 343 Industries' (the current Halo developers) Slipspace engine would treat PC gamers with the latest technology in terms of graphics presentation, PC has become the defacto platform of choice to showcase Halo's next-gen visuals (whilst using an Xbox One controller, by the way). This likely only happens because Microsoft isn't ready to completely pull the wraps on the next-generation Xbox; or it could serve as a show of good faith from the company when it comes to PC gaming. Whatever the reason for Microsoft's decision, this seems like a great time to be a PC - and Halo - fan.

Microsoft Paves the Way for Industry-Wide Adoption of Variable Rate Shading

Microsoft today via a devblog announced their push to make Variable Rate Shading an industry-wide adoption in the search of increased performance that can support the number of pixels and quality of those pixels in future games. The post starts with what is likely the foremost question on the mind of any discerning user that hears of a technique to improve performance: "does it degrade image quality?". And the answer, it seems, is a no: no discernible image quality differences between the Variable Rate Shading part of the image, and the fully rendered one. I'll give you the option to speak on your own perception, though: analyze the image below and cast your vote on the poll.

As resolution increases, so does the amount of work that any given GPU has to process to generate a single frame - and compare that to the amount of additional work that goes from rendering a 30 FPS, 1080p game to a 60 FPS, 4K one, and... It stands to reason that ways of squeezing the highest amount of performance from a given process are at a premium. Particularly in the console space, where cost concerns require the usage of more mainstream-equivalent hardware, which requires creative ways of bridging the desired image quality and the available rendering time for each frame.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Announced For PC

The last time an actual Halo game made its way to PC was 2007 when Halo 2 launched three years after the console version to little fanfare, as it required the Windows Vista operating system. Since then Microsoft has not bothered to release any of the mainstream titles on PC. However, that is no longer the case as Microsoft has announced that they will be bringing Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PC. While some may think it too little too late, considering the Master Chief Collection initially launched nearly five years ago, the fact remains with this release PC gamers now have access to the majority of the series including Halo 1, 2, 3, 4, ODST, and Reach which was just recently added to the collection. The only title missing at this point is Halo 5.

While a typical re-release is possible it appears that is not the direction 343 Industries will take as they recognize that PC gamers are an exacting bunch and as such have brought in help from Ruffian and Splash Damage studios in order to polish the collection ahead of its debut. As of now, you can expect support for 4K resolution, 60 frames per second gameplay, and HDR at least as a minimum along with proper controls. Overall the Master Chief Collection offers a ton of content including 67 campaign missions and 120 multiplayer maps when you include both Horde Survival and Spartan Ops. Pricing and availability currently remain unknown, but at the very least it will be available on Steam meaning it is not a Microsoft Store exclusive. That said, it will still require an Xbox Live account.

Amazon Could be Pointing to Halo 5: Guardians Release for PC

A box listing update for 343 Industries' Halo 5: Guardians over the weekend may have spilled the beans on a planned release of the title for PC gamers. Via an updated box art posted on Amazon, the new Halo 5: Guardians changes the previous "Only on XBOX One" adage of games that could only be found on Microsoft's console - and nowhere else - to a much more interesting "XBOX One Console Exclusive". This particular wording has become prevalent ever since Microsoft introduced its "XBOX Play Anywhere" initiative, which sees copies of games being mirrored in both the PC and console platforms - much like it happened on Halo Wars 2.

If this were to happen, of course, we'd expect nothing less that a very well optimized port for the PC version of the game. Microsoft hasn't been saving expenses in gearing up their Play Anywhere titles up to the best features and performance metrics PC gaming has to offer, and with a Halo game, those efforts are sure to be doubled. The franchise still remains Microsoft's juggernaut and best representative of their overall brand identity, and Microsoft - and 343 Industries - wouldn't want to be missing an opportunity to prepare a whole new world of potential gamers and buyers of Halo: Infinite via a less than exquisite launch of Halo 5: guardians on PC. Until then, you can always just hop into the free Forge mode on Windows 10.

343 Industries Announces Halo Infinite, (Eventually) Coming to XBOX and Windows 10 PCs

343 Industries and Microsoft, at its E3 press conference, opened up hostilities with a reveal trailer for the next installment in the Halo series. Presented as Halo Infinite, the new Halo game will mark the first time a mainline Halo experience is launched in both the XBOX platform and Windows PCs, and thus marks a new era, with even greater market penetration, for the critic and user-acclaimed series.

The reveal trailer is more of a technical showcase rather than a full-blown reveal trailer for the game; the idea was to showcase the new Slipspace Engine. This new engine marks the second one to have ever been used in the mainline Halo series (not counting the Saber engine used in the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary by Saber Interactive, or the engines used for Halo Wars). The Halo series has been using virtually the same game engine since the series' inception with Halo: Combat Evolved back in 2001 (heavily modified each year, of course). The new Slipspace Engine is a chance to build new tools which will apparently lead to an open-world setting - that's what some publications are expecting. Honestly, I would expect something more akin to hub locations in a galaxy-spanning conflict, in an approach similar to Destiny and Destiny 2, with quasi-open world settings at each one. Side-quests are likely to be introduced, likely in a way similar to what Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare delivered (but hoepfully beatter and more meaningful in their introduction). For now, this is all speculation, though, so take it with a bucketload of salt.
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