In a shocking announcement today, 343 studio head Chris Lee announced that Halo Infinite will be delayed, meaning it will not hit make the launch of the Xbox Series X.
Now set to release at an unsepcified time in 2021, Halo Infinite is still set to be a cross-generation Xbox One and Xbox Series X title. In the announcement Lee said,
The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year. I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committeed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship this holiday.
Going on he discusses that he understands it will be disappointing to many, but that the extra time will let them make the most ambitious Halo game ever, and do so at the quality fans expect.
This comes on the same day that Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox Series X will be releasing in November, and they released a post on Xbox Wire in what appears to be an attempt to reassure people of the future of Xbox, discussing the Xbox Series X's strengths, as well as their cross-generaitonal and X-Cloud plans by mentioning Xbox Series X optimized games, some exclusives, backward compatibility, and Game Pass.
This may be good for Halo Infinite, which is planned to serve as the base for the next decade of Halo games, but it is going to make the Xbox Series X pitch harder to deliver on. The wording of Lee's message makes it sound like the team was already crunching pretty hard to try to make this year, but it just wasn't going to happen.
It does beg the question though - has a console ever released without a new first party game alongside it? Not just one they've helped fund like Scorn or The Medium, but an in-house project of some sort. I can't think of one off the top of my head, and I think here we continue to see the damage Don Mattrick did to them, as their new studios purchased are still working up and not in a place to have a major release there.
It definitely will make Microsoft's pitch this fall harder to deliver.
What do you think of the Halo Infinite delay? Does it impact your interest in the Xbox Series X? Let us know in the comments below!