Halo: The Master Chief Collection Is Getting a Bunch of Xbox Series X Enhancements

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Is Getting a Bunch of Xbox Series X Enhancements

120 FPS modes and 4K on Series X are coming soon.

Halo Infinite may be missing the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, but Microsoft's new console will soon be the best place to play the Halo titles of old. Today, Xbox revealed that a slate of new graphical improvements are coming to The Master Chief Collection (MCC) for the new consoles, and they'll be arriving on Nov. 17 just one week after launch.

We'll probably need to wait for an in-depth breakdown from 343 itself on the finer points of the MCC's new enhancements, but the basics should be enough to pique players' interest. Like Gears 5's multiplayer on Series S and Series X, the older Halo titles will get support for 120 FPS in both Campaign and Multiplayer.

120 FPS modes won't be supported on all or even most next-gen Xbox releases, but it makes sense that Microsoft would put in the extra work for both the MCC and Gears 5. Also, that'll bring multiplayer frame rates in the MCC up-to-par with the 120 FPS support planned for Halo Infinite's free-to-play multiplayer.

Xbox hasn't revealed next-gen resolution specifics for the MCC just yet, but there will be support for "up to 4K" on the Xbox Series X along with unspecified "split-screen improvements." It's possible that a native 4K with 120 FPS might be out of the question for titles like Reach and Halo 4, so we may see 4K only supported on Series X at lower framerates. It also seems likely that the Series S will cap its presentation at 1440p in keeping with the console's lower specs. As for those split-screen improvements, perhaps we'll see higher-resolution rendering for each player, boosted frame rates, or both. Split-screen with four players can be a bit taxing in those later Halo titles, so I'm looking forward to seeing how far the added power of the new consoles will go in smoothing out that experience.

These improvements will be provided at no additional charge for folks who own the MCC on consoles already and for those playing it through Xbox Game Pass. Just remember, you'll only see the benefit of the 120 FPS support if you're playing on a fancy TV or monitor with a 120 Hz setting, so just keep that in mind if you're excited for a very slick stroll through The Silent Cartographer.

Recently, I chatted with 343 Senior Producer Michael Fahrny about where the MCC is headed next, and it seems like the seasonal content support and tech updates should keep coming for quite a while. Fahrny mentioned that console and PC cross-play is still being looked into and that features like field-of-view sliders may migrate over from the PC to Xbox versions "especially for the newer hardware," so don't assume these next-gen upgrades will be the end of line for the MCC's improvement.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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