With the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S now out in the wild (good luck finding either one at a store), it's time to eye the next big milestone for Microsoft's new systems and the Game Pass ecosystem they've joined. Presumably, that'll be Halo Infinite, the would've-been launch title that was delayed to 2021 just two months before the consoles hit. So where is it?
We might not get to see much, but the near-silence from 343 Industries on Infinite should break soon. Yesterday, in response to some "fresh unfounded Halo Infinite rumors" (once again, some outlets ran thinly sourced stories about a battle royale mode) 343's Community Director Brian "ske7ch" Jarrard gave a heads-up regarding the studio's messaging and when we can next expect to hear some real Infinite news.
"I'm aware we could help solve [the rumor cycle] with real news," Jarrard writes. "We certainly have some things we're overdue on and eager to talk more about. We're in the process of pulling together a year-end update."
Nearly everything we've heard about Infinite since its delay (and thus since its much-scrutinized showing at Xbox's July showcase) has had to do with personnel changes at 343 and explanations for why its launch was pushed back. Xbox's Phil Spencer explained the decision process behind the delay on an Animal Crossing talk show; former Bungie writer Joseph Staten was brought on to lead campaign development while the Master Chief Collection's Pierre Hintze leapt over to lead the free-to-play multiplayer; in October, Studio Head Chris Lee stepped down from the project. The only real peeks we've had at the game since have revolved around promotional multiplayer cosmetics.
In other words, with a dearth of new footage for Halo fans to bask in, turnover at the studio, and a seemingly exclusive-barren early 2021 for Xbox on the horizon, now really would be an advantageous time for 343 to give an update on where Infinite stands. New Xboxes are flying off the shelves for now without a brand new Halo and there's still more on the way for Game Pass before the year's end, but anything fresh on Infinite—from an update on Craig to news about a potential multiplayer beta—could generate some positive buzz.
Especially compared to how transparent 343 has been with the continued development of the Master Chief Collection, the quiet around Infinite is unusual if the delay into 2021 is only intended to be a few months and not closer to a whole year. It's highly unlikely we'll get a revised release date with this pending update from 343, but whatever we do see will probably tell us a lot about where development stands heading into the new year.
Halo Infinite will launch for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S|X with a free-to-play multiplayer component. Like all first-party Microsoft titles, it'll be released simultaneously on Xbox Game Pass.