Microsoft Explains Lack Of Halo On PC

Microsoft Explains Lack Of Halo On PC

Halo: Master Chief Collection would -- in theory -- be a perfect point of entry for PC gamers who've missed out on the series over the years. So why is it, for now, Xbox One-only? And could that change?

Halo is Microsoft's flagship game series on the Xbox, but they have also got that whole Windows thing going on. You might have heard of it -- for instance from hundreds of millions of people the world over maybe. PC players have been clamoring for more Halo (Halo 1 and 2 were both released for office place computing machines years ago; middling strategy spin-off Spartan Assault came out more recently) for years, but their cries have largely fallen on deaf ears. But with Microsoft pledging better PC support, what's stopping them now?

"We've definitely heard the questions about PC," said executive producer Dan Ayoub. "Right now we're a couple months out from the Xbox version's release, and that's our main focus right now. That's quite honestly where all our headspace is right now."

Ayoub explained that while porting old games to new platforms and remastering them to varying degrees might not seem like the most labour intensive thing, the sheer scale of this project -- four games, one of which is getting a complete graphical overhaul -- would make it hard to churn out two versions at once.

"From a technical standpoint, you look at the architecture of the Xbox One and there are some similarities to the architecture of a modern PC," he said. "That certainly makes that sort of cross-platform development easier. But beyond that the ease goes away. Master Chief Collection is massive. We have to coordinate four games, 100-plus maps, a lot of new cinematics, and Halo 2 Anniversary."

And while it's not what a lot of PC players want to hear, this remaster is, in a lot of ways, about consoles. For them. Ayoub claimed that, given the amount of work the collection took, 343 had to make a choice. Xbox One won out.

"We wanted to do a great job on console," Ayoub explained. "The anchor of Halo: Master Chief Collection is the ten-year anniversary of Halo 2 on console. So our approach was to focus primarily on console as a result of that."

That said, 343 Industries isn't blind to the PC community's ongoing interest in green men shooting at every colour of the alien rainbow. The PC version of the original Halo still has a passionate playerbase improving it, and some especially ambitious modders are trying to make their own full PC Halo game in CryEngine 3. Fan projects like these help keep games and series alive long after their natural expiration dates. More and more, it seems almost silly for developers to ignore that.

"That's one of the things I love about the PC community," said Ayoub. "You've got so many cool things going on [with fans]. And then you've got the breadth; PCs are everywhere all over the planet. Obviously as part of Microsoft PCs are part of our business. When you look at that market and community, there's almost limitless possibilities in terms of what we can do."

Nothing's set in stone, but Ayoub's words are encouraging. However, that's all they are for now: words. On top of that the previous Halo release on PC -- Spartan Assault -- wasn't exactly the most... spirited effort. Time will tell. A PC version of Master Chief Collection seems like a no-brainer, but unfortunately brains don't magically poof video games into existence. We shall see.


Comments

    ie We don't want to do a PC version because it will hurt XboxOne sales.

    How is the Xbone different to a computer? They even both run Windows.

      This is like saying "how is a tablet different to a computer?". A PC is generally more useful. A gaming PC is typically higher powered too leading to higher resolutions, textures and fps.

        Actually not much difference!

    From a technical standpoint, you look at the architecture of the Xbox One and there are some similarities to the architecture of a modern PC,” he said. “That certainly makes that sort of cross-platform development easier. But beyond that the ease goes away. Master Chief Collection is massive. We have to coordinate four games, 100-plus maps, a lot of new cinematics, and Halo 2 Anniversary.

    There was no actual explanation in that article. Just chalk it up to we have Xbones to sell.

    See "why is there no Pokemon game on home console?"

    Be very similar reasons.

      Isnt it the other way round: wouldnt they be doing it for the Wii U since sales arent exactly up to scratch?

      Why can't I play Mario, Gran Turismo, Forza and Halo on PC?

      Soon, "Why can't I play Minecraft 2 on PC?".

    I hope they get around to doing a PC release eventually. I could understand releasing a while afterwards though, so they can get whatever sales Xbox sales they imagine they would get first.

    If Microsoft are still going to tout their 'PC Support' pledge they should put some meat in those words. A Halo Collection would be ideal, perhaps make up for the half-assed two-thirds of a trilogy PC release they pulled and leaving things on a cliff-hanger.

      I think there PC support is in there exclusivity agreements. After a year or so you can port this game to PC but not PS4.

    Makes sense, I mean. How big would that install be ? The Xbox has the blu Ray benefit, but I doubt there would be too many pc gamers willing to download a potentially 50+ gig game. Or install off of multiple DVDs

      Wolfenstein is around that size. Battlefield 4 will probably be around that size once Final Stand comes out. Ghosts was around that size. There's no lack of big games around that size, so I guess we'll manage.

      If it does come to PC, I would easily see a modular install, as in choosing between all 4 campaigns and the multiplayer, therefore reducing the download size for someone who, for example, only wants to play the Halo 3 campaign.

      On the other hand, I would love them to put physical PC games on Blu-ray as well, to put into perspective, Ghosts is installed from 4 dual-layer DVDs

        we'll have to wait till the masses get blu-ray drives on their computers. need dell or hp or someone to stop selling computers without them.

          Man, I haven't used my disc drive in years....

    They wont do it. Forget about the PC version, it'll never happen.

      Yeah I think there's a better chance of Red Dead Redemption on the PC quite honestly.

    I wouldn't mind playing some Halo on PC, i played 1 and 2 on the original Xbox, i never got around to buying an Xbox 360 and i dont have any plans to buy a Xbone or PS4.

    If they decide to port it then i would buy it but if they don't i wont lose any sleep over it.

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