The Halo Livestream today brought with it a host of news and updates for several Halo properties, most notably that a Halo 5 "Overtime" content update is coming soon, Halo Wars 2 is getting Xbox One and PC Crossplay later this year, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection is getting an Xbox One X overhaul. There were a lot more announcements, so lets dive in and see exactly what we're working with.
While we don't have an exact date for the Halo 5: Guardians Overtime Content release, we do know it's coming during the "Fall", which means October/November. This update will come packed with a number of improvements and additions, including 4K Upgrades, Oddball, Weapon Tuning Updates, and the ability to host your own servers with a Local Server app.
Here are some more details, courtesy of Xbox Wire:
4K Upgrades. The team at 343 Industries has been working closely with Skybox Labs (longtime Halo development partners on various projects including Halo 5: Forge for Windows 10) on enhancements to Halo 5: Guardians for Xbox One X. This update takes advantage of the extra power of Xbox One X to deliver higher visual fidelity for players who have compatible hardware.
Oddball. Oddball is back in Halo 5: Guardians, with a full suite of mode-specific medals, new VO and a return of the ballyhooed and beloved skull as “the ball.” This fan-favorite mode looks to give players yet another way to have a blast with fellow Spartans on the battlefield.
Weapon Tuning Update. Last month 343 Industries conducted a public test of these newly tuned weapons in a special matchmaking playlist which you can read all about right here. Over the course of the test we received an enormous amount of feedback via our Halo Waypoint forums and official surveys which, along with a plethora of game data, have helped the team assess and refine these weapons before they get released in the November update. Check out Halo Waypoint for a breakdown of what to expect.
Local Server app. With this new app, players can host a local server on a Windows 10 PC connected to the same network as Xbox One consoles to enjoy easy, low-latency Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer matches – perfect for basement brawls or running your own tournament – big or small.
Next up is some Halo Wars 2 news. Along with the Xbox One X visual enhancements, the title will also be supporting Xbox Arena: the app that allows players to organize and conduct their own online tournaments, and Crossplay between Xbox One (all versions), and Windows 10 PCs.
On the topic of Crossplay, Xbox Wire mentions the following:
Crossplay for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. As an Xbox Play Anywhere title, players have the ability to enjoy Halo Wars 2 on their console or PC, but up until now that has not included cross-platform online play. The team has worked hard to deliver this feature and final testing indicates it’s ready for release into the wild. Cross-play and Arena support and the Xbox One X visual enhancements are all targeted for release in late October.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection will also be receiving enhancements for Xbox One X. Along with these visual improvements, 343 Industries will be looking to add other "fixes, improvements and upgrades to the core game to help bring it forward and modernize many of the game’s systems to take advantage of Xbox platform advancements since its original launch." There is no word yet on when these updates will roll out, however, it is mentioned that they will be "iterative patches and updates", and that 343i will be looking to the support of their community for feedback.
Other items mentioned include: Halo Recruit: the Mixed Reality experience, The Relief & Recovery REQ Pack: a $14.95 NZD pack available until the 24th that sees 100% of it's proceeds go to the organization "GlobalGiving", Halo eSports Updates, and a Microsoft Store Tournament Program.
To go into a bit more detail for the Halo eSports information, it included
Finally, the information of the Microsoft Store Tournament Program is as follows:
We’re excited to announce an expanded Microsoft Store Halo 5: Guardians tournament program that sees the slate grow from three months to five, and from 53 stores to 83 – meaning every Microsoft Store on the planet will be hosting Halo 5: Guardians tournaments beginning next month! The action kicks off on Monday Nov 6 and runs through March 2018, so make sure you find your nearest location and register online now to be part of all the action!
Unfortunately there aren't any physical Microsoft Stores in New Zealand, but if you happen to live or be travelling overseas, here is a handy list of Microsoft Store locations.
Official release dates are as yet unknown for the Halo 5: Guardians Overtime Update, and Halo Wars 2 Xbox One X Enhancements, updates, and Crossplay, however they should release later this year (2017), and the Halo: The Master Chief Collection Xbox One X Enhancements and patches should begin arriving sometime in 2018.