The long-awaited Halo Infinite was supposed to release on November 10 as a launch title for the Xbox Series X/S consoles, but due in part to complications related to COVID-19, Microsoft elected to push the game out to 2021. It was a big loss for the Xbox Series X/S, as it would have marked the first time since 2001 that a Halo game launched with new Xbox hardware. As it turned out, Microsoft did not need Halo Infinite at launch for the new consoles to sell exceptionally well, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer has now reflected on the delay and its impact on the new systems and the brand overall.
“I wanted Halo Infinite at launch; there was no doubt about that,” Spencer told Shacknews. “And we thought there would have been a special seminal moment because the last time we shipped a Halo and a console at the same time was the original Xbox. When Bonnie [Ross, head of Halo Infinite developer 343 Studios] and I were talking about it, there was something heartfelt about those two things coming together. But the safety and health of the team has got to be first and foremost, and then the quality of the game. Those things have to win over anything else.”
The “quality of the game” line is an interesting one, the suggestion being that Spencer and the team might not have believed the game was where it needed to be to launch. The game’s campaign reveal in July left a sour taste in some fans’ mouths, and Microsoft promised that the graphics would get better over time.