Halo: Infinite gameplay demo was actually running on a PC; Microsoft confirms better visual fidelity in the run up to launch, Halo: Infinite 2 won't happen
Yesterday, Microsoft streamed the first campaign gameplay reveal of Halo: Infinite, which is set to launch alongside the Xbox Series X this holiday. While the gameplay seemed good indeed, a sizeable section of the viewers didn't seem to be impressed with the visuals wondering if this is really worth the Series X's 12 TFLOPs hype.
Turns out that yesterday's demo was not actually running on an Xbox Series X but a similarly configured PC with an Xbox controller. While it is not really a surprise to see gameplay demos being shown off on PC hardware instead of on the intended console, the fact that the console itself had already been showcased before does seem to suggest that Microsoft isn't too keen on emphasizing on the hardware, at least for the gameplay showcase.
Now, Halo: Infinite's short early gameplay preview has largely been well-received judging from reactions of viewers during the livestream, but a significant number of gamers felt that the graphics weren't really up to the mark and didn't really evoke the same kind of awe as the game did back during its first look at E3 2019. One person even joked that the terrain looked as if it was made in Minecraft.
However, Xbox Marketing General Manager Aaron Greenberg put all those concerns to rest. Speaking to Inside Gaming's Alanah Pearce, Greenberg said,
Listen, we're in the middle of a global pandemic. It's July, we're far from Holiday, you're seeing a work-in-progress game. It's very hard to show the full power and graphical fidelity of what Xbox Series X will be able to deliver for you over a stream. Go back and look at it in 4K 60."
Greenberg is right to an extent. The game looks markedly better when the same stream is viewed at 4K 60. We are about five months away from the official launch, so there's still ample scope for 343 Industries to improve a lot. Greenberg confirmed that improvements are already happening.
The other thing I'll just say is: it is a work-in-progress. I can tell you, because we see build check-ins every week. l, and they make progress week after week, so between now and Holiday it's just going to get better and better."
Halo: Infinite will keep getting better even after launch. 343 Industries Studio head Chris Lee confirmed that there will not be a Halo: Infinite 2 for the "foreseeable future". This effectively rules out Bungie ever getting to develop a Halo game again. Speaking to IGN, Lee said,
Halo Infinite is the start of our platform for the future. We want Infinite to grow over time, versus going to those numbered titles and having all that segmentation that we had before. It’s really about creating Halo Infinite as the start of the next ten years for Halo and then building that as we go with our fans and community."
Unlike Destiny, though, Halo: Infinite will not be a live service game. Instead, subsequent Halo games will evolve both technologically and story-wise under the Infinite umbrella. A ray-tracing update is also being planned for Halo: Infinite soon after launch.