Today I want to share an important Halo Infinite development update with the community. We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision.
Chris Lee, Halo Infinite Studio Head, via Twitter
Citing COVID-19 related impacts to development, 343 Industries and Microsoft had made the appropriate call to delay their biggest incoming title. Halo Infinite was supposed to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X. Immediately after seeing this delay, I told my friends that Microsoft will be leaning heavily into the fact that the Series X can play old games better than ever, if it launches in Holiday 2020. Mere moments after typing that, I saw Microsoft’s official blog post with the headline “Xbox Series X Launches this November with Thousands of Games Spanning Four Generations.”
We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives: There will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles, built to take full advantage of our most powerful console, are planned for this year.
While understandable and the right course of action, this delay is a major blow to the Xbox Series X launch. With Microsoft’s heavy emphasis on cross-generational support, even allowing controllers to work across devices, this console launch feels less like a generational leap and more like a small hardware upgrade. While on paper it is, in fact, a next-gen leap, the loss of a huge launch title is significant in regards to perception — especially if Sony and Insomniac can keep Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on track.
Update: Originally, I had Chris Lee listed as the 343 Industries Studio Head. I wondered if Bonnie Ross had a higher title, and made an assumption with Chris’ given title of “Halo Infinite Studio Head” in the tweeted statement. That’s what I get for assuming.