In 2014, the Halo: Master Chief Collection anthology launched as a much-needed lineup filler for the struggling Xbox One. But fans’ hopes for a nice 1080p collection of four classics Halo games, including a remastered version of halo 2were soon shattered by a litany of matchmaking hiccups, bugs, and other issues.
A series of patches in the game’s first year fixed a number of issues, particularly with online matchmaking, but despite ongoing complaints about the anthology, Microsoft hasn’t H:MCC patch in over two years. And the company failed to capitalize on the Xbox One X hype by implying in July that the anthology wouldn’t see 4K-specific updates for that new console.
Fortunately, Microsoft changed its tone on Tuesday.
During a Halo community livestream event, the series developers at 343 Industries confirmed that: H:MCC shall And last but not least receive comprehensive patches to both fix outstanding issues and add support for Xbox One X-specific upgrades such as 4K resolution. The developer will roll out a “public flying program” starting “next spring,” essentially a quick patch-and-test program for fans of the series to opt for. 343 Says These Updates Will Also Benefit From “Xbox Platform Enhancements” Launched Since Then H:MCC‘s release, but it didn’t clarify exactly which one. (I assume support for Mixer, Microsoft’s rival for Twitch, will be one of them.)
But how extensive will the solutions be? For example, will the Halo 2 Anniversary Edition receive updates to make the remastered content work more efficiently, especially in split screen mode? Shall Halo 3: ODSTwhich was given away to angry fans as a mea culpa will also receive Xbox One X updates in early 2015? Will we see true 4K support for all games of the anthology in both single and multiplayer modes? And can we expect updates to iron out the myriad use cases that can crop up as we try to enjoy? H:MCC, especially the shaky LAN mode? (The last still requires a ping every few seconds to Xbox Live’s servers, making it a pain to host our own LAN parties in the basement with the anthology.)
Those answers will have to wait until 343 invites fans to “test” [H:MCC‘s updates] in the wild on a large scale” at an undisclosed point in the spring of 2018. Meanwhile, the livestream also showed more of what to expect from Halo 5: Guardians next major content update on November 7. That’s the same day as the Xbox One X launch date, and unsurprisingly, 4K was the term of the day, as halo 5 will receive a visual update that brings the game’s internal resolution to 3840×2160 on Xbox One X.
A new “local server” app is launched to support local halo 5 also play in November. This kind of creates a LAN mode of sorts, but instead of just having Xbox One consoles (old and new) connect directly to each other, they all need to connect on the same LAN as a single Internet-connected Windows 10 PC. running the new app. 343 says the design should provide “the same gaming experience our pros get at a tournament” due to the fact that all networks will be entirely at the local network level. While this arrangement requires the use of Xbox Live, it does not require a paid Xbox Live Gold account.
And, hey, Oddball is coming back to the game on November 7th as a special, officially supported mode, complete with newly recorded narration and the classic skull-as-a-ball (above).