Microsoft is kickstarting all sorts of interesting conversations this evening. Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC is coming, and that’s the least shocking thing the company announced during its Inside Xbox live stream.
Microsoft is painting the arrival of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Windows PCs as a response to community demand, and they’d be right. Since the launch of Halo: Combat Evolved for PC, you’ve always needed an Xbox console to play the franchise. Well, no more. In fact, you won’t even need to buy the game through the Microsoft Store. 343 Industries will launch the PC version of the Master Chief Collection in the Windows Store and Steam, according to a post on Xbox Wire. At first, the game will only have Halo Reach. Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3 ODST and Halo 4 will launch as they are finished.
It’s fitting that the company should begin with Halo: Reach because that game is also coming to the Xbox One version of the Master Chief Collection. Anyone that owns the game on Xbox One already will get access to Reach’s multiplayer for free. The game’s story and Firefight modes are coming as DLC. It’ll be 4K TV ready and run at 60 frames per second if your hardware supports that.
We don’t yet have a definitive release date for the Halo: Reach add-on for Xbox One or Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC.
Getting away from Halo specifically, Microsoft used this month’s Inside Xbox to better articulate what it hopes to achieve with Project xCloud. That’s the codename for the video game streaming service the company teased earlier this year.
From reading the first part of the release posted to Xbox Wire, Microsoft wants people to think of game streaming to their phone and tablet as more of an option for gaming on the go than a wholesale replacement of the Xbox One.”We’re developing Project xCloud not as a replacement for game consoles, but as a way to provide the same choice and versatility that lovers of music and video enjoy today,” the company says.
It’s definitely smart to be setting expectations and clarifying how you see a service like this. Otherwise, you’re going to cause a freak out from
“Project xCloud will also open the world of Xbox to those who may not otherwise own traditional, dedicated gaming hardware. True console-quality gaming will become available on mobile devices, providing the 2 billion-plus gamers around the world a new gateway to previously console- and PC-exclusive content.”
In other words, Microsoft expects and is perfectly fine with people streaming to their device instead of buying their video game console. You can hear the hardware fans’ screams from here.
Microsoft says Project xCloud will be ready for testing later in 2019. We still don’t know how much it will cost.
A new Wireless Display app is finally coming to Xbox One. With it, we’ll all be able to project what’s on some phones, tablets and Windows PCs directly to a television set. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this app comes years after Microsoft quietly killed an older wireless display app that never made it out of testing.
And finally, Minecraft is coming to Xbox Game Pass.
I gotta say, it’s going to be a very, very interesting year.