It may be three full years between the launch of Halo 4 and Halo 5. At its pre-E3 press conference last year, Microsoft promised that "in 2014, combat will truly evolve" with a Halo game on the Xbox One hardware. While there will be some as yet unannounced Halocontent coming to the console this year, Microsoft has now announced that the proper sequel Halo 5: Guardians won't be available until the fall of 2015.
At a briefing event before next month's E3 presentation, Microsoft and the Halo developers at 343 Studios said that "Halo 5, to be the game we need it to be, needs a three-year development cycle." That puts it on a similar development track to previous Halo games, the developers said, even though the transition to new console hardware makes work on the game somewhat harder.
"Any time you go to a new platform, it's a chance to take a step back for a broader perspective, like a blank canvas," 343 General Manager Bonnie Ross told the assembled press. "The question is, 'How do we tell new stories? Where do we start, where do we go on Xbox One?'"
Noting the momentous loss at the end of Halo 4 (left vague here just in case it's a spoiler for anyone), Ross said that in Halo 5 Master Chief will be "questioning his past, his purpose, what he's fighting for, why he's fighting. On Xbox One, want to be very deliberate with the story we told with Chief. It's about his journey, his past, and his future."
343 Franchise Development Director Frank O'Connor said that every past Halo game has brought some major new features to console first-person shooters, and that Halo 5 similarly would be about more than just adding a new chapter or content on top of Halo 4. He also talked up the team's efforts to start again from scratch for the technology behind the new game.
"With Halo 4, we went back to drawing board, but was really an iteration of an existing engine. [Halo 5] will be a new engine on new architecture, benefitting everything from audio to graphics rendering."
The developers weren't ready to share any footage or additional details about Halo 5 just yet, but said that they'll be talking more about the game towards the end of this year and early next year.
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Microsoft announces 'Halo 5: Guardians', coming Autumn 2015Microsoft today announced that the next installment in the Halo franchise is coming next year. The latest episode in the adventures of Master Chief will be called 'Halo 5: Guardians', and will launch exclusively on the Xbox One in Autumn 2015.
The game was first teased at E3 last year, and a reference to it appeared in a recent Microsoft video on the design of the Xbox One. As previously promised, the game's developers, Microsoft's own 343 Industries, today said that the game will run "at 60 frames per second, on dedicated servers, with the scope, features and scale we've been dreaming of for more than a decade."
343's general manager, Bonnie Ross, said today that 'Guardians' is a "massive and exciting project", adding that the new title 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."
Ross also said that Halo 5 will incorporate many lessons learned from its predecessor "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."
The teaser trailer from E3 2013, shown above, has been the closest we've got to the new title until now, although today's announcement isn't exactly loaded with details about the game itself.
It's going to be a long, long wait between now and Fall 2015, but in the mean time, you can whet your appetite for the new game further by staring at its box: