Halo: The Master Chief Collection is getting “a new place and way to play” this month

343 Industries have teased that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is set to come to a new platform sometime in the near future, leading to plenty of speculation as to what on Earth that could mean. Currently available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam, and Android via Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud, it doesn’t feel like there’s many places it could go. Still, that hasn’t stopped plenty of speculation that The Master Chief Collection could now be heading to the Epic Games Store, Nintendo Switch or (perhaps most likely) to iPhone and iPad via Cloud Gaming.

The teaser comes as 343i discuss the future of the game on Halo Waypoint. Test ‘flights’ will be taking place later in February bringing features like an FOV slider to Xbox One, more controller customisation, mouse & keyboard support on console, and “maybe a new place and way to play.”

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In our opinion, that teaser most likely means that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be coming to iOS with Xbox Cloud Gaming (AKA Project xCloud) this spring. Microsoft have notably struggled to get their game streaming service onto iOS, and while they tested Project xCloud on iOS last year, Apple blocked the possibility of game streaming apps on their platform without onerous certification for all games.

So how is Microsoft going to do it? Well, they’re going to be following in the footsteps of Amazon Luna and creating a browser-based web app. This will enable them to workaround the need for certification, and (with iOS’ built in support for game controllers) should let users get practically the same experience.

What about the “[new] way to play”? Well, I suspect it might be new to Halo, but it’s not new to game streaming. As part of their cloud gaming initiative, Microsoft have also been gradually adding support for touch controls on a game-by-game basis – February’s Xbox Game Pass update adds support for 12 more games with touch controls. While touch controls certainly won’t be the best way to play Halo, Gears 5 already supports  there’s plenty of games on mobile (such as Fortnite and PUBG) that do have touch controls.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a huge collection of almost every single first person shooter in the Halo series. Launching back in 2014 for Xbox One, it features Halo 2: Anniversary alongside upgraded ports of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4. That later expanded to include Halo 3: ODST in 2015, and in 2019, Halo Reach.

343i have largely turned their focus to finishing the heavily delayed Halo Infinite, which is set to launch in Fall 2021 having been dropped from launching alongside the Xbox Series X|S after a gameplay reveal that failed to excited the masses. Bringing the game to iOS is the most logical step for Microsoft to take with the game (much as we’d love to see it on Switch), as it ties in with their overall plans for their gaming platform and would not be the largest undertaking for the team.

Source: Halo Waypoint

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