It seems Halo 5's skipping its presumptive E3 unveiling and going for a gala May party instead.
We all knew Halo 5 existed (just as we presume Halos 6, 7 and beyond do), but Microsoft chose this Friday spring morning, of all mornings, to de-cloak its second installment in 343 Industries' new trilogy starring the be-helmeted Master Chief, and a bunch of exceptionally hard-to-kill new aliens (if you played Halo 4's campaign on "legendary" difficulty, anyway).
"How do we begin and where to we go with 'Halo' on Xbox One?" asks Microsoft in the press release. Toward even grander gameplay scales, running at 60 frames per second, it answers, calling that task "non-trivial." So yes, Halo 5 Guardians, as it's officially titled in full, will be an Xbox One exclusive, despite the trilogy's Xbox 360 beginnings. And 343 Industries says we can expect it not this year, alas, but sometime fall 2015.
Handing the mic to the studio:
“Halo 5: Guardians” is a bigger effort than “Halo 4.” That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine. Certainly there are some core elements carried over from prior games, but we’ve invested a huge effort in retooling our tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen.
It’s a game that will hopefully demonstrate the talent, learnings and abilities of the 343 Industries team. A game that will incorporate the things we learned from “Halo 4” about technology, aesthetics, performance and scale – and perhaps more importantly, understanding and embracing a community of gamers who love what lies at the heart of this game, and the limitless potential of the “Halo” universe.
And 2015 won’t simply be the year of “Halo 5: Guardians,” it will also be a year that offers us a unique opportunity. The opportunity to invite old friends and new audiences into that universe through the “Halo” television series, launched as a unique collaboration with Steven Spielberg and some of the finest creative minds in the business. A series that will stand alone, as well as complement and enrich the game experience. We’ll have more to share on the “Halo” television series as we near its projected fall 2015 release.
343 adds that it's approaching Halo as a "journey," not a "destination," implying the may be Halo-related content in the offing that we'll see before 2015. Something like Kojima's Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (serves as a standalone game as well as prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)? We'll see. Microsoft says it'll give us "much more information about [its] plans for this year" at its upcoming Xbox E3 2014 Media Briefing, which happens (and I'll be attending) on June 9.