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xbox one

WIll Halo 3 and 4 be remastered? No.

I recently watched an episode of Inside Gaming Daily on the Machinima Youtube channel. The video focused on the Master Chief Collection, sales figures for each of the Halo titles, and Halo 5. But the big question is: will Halo 5 save the Xbox One?

Firstly, the Xbox-One doesn’t necessarily need saving, but it does need to pick a focus. In retrospect, I feel silly being a part of the crowd that screamed and argued against the DRM features they were going to implement. There are a bunch of reasons as to why those particular policies would never work, but I’ll save those for another time. I say all this to point out that Microsoft spent the better part of the year backtracking on pretty much everything they initially announced (price cut, no kinect, no DRM, etc.). Now, the console must stand on its own and rely on gaming to bring it through.

xbox one

Despite two Master Chiefs in one game, I’m excited!

This brings me to the original point of all this: Halo. I am a Halo fan. Despite the lame RTS attempt, or the weird spin-off, or the weird direction of the plot in the latest instalment, I still enjoy Halo. I have yet to purchase an Xbox One because Halo isn’t available for it yet. However, that purchase will also rely on what other games are available at the time.

Yes, the Master Chief Collection will probably end up in my collection at some point. Yes, Halo 5 will probably end up in my collection, as well. But it doesn’t change the fact that Microsoft still has a lot of work to do. When the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 went head-to-head in the 7th generation, I believe that the Xbox came out on top because it had a bigger line-up of titles sooner than its rival did. Also, Xbox had Halo, which was awesome. But as time went on, I realized that one game franchise can’t carry a video game console. This goes especially for graphics, too.

Xbox one

Upgraded graphics aren’t always kind…

Put simply, video game consoles need games. And not only that, but video game consoles need exclusive games, or there really isn’t much point in buying one console over another. During the 7th generation, we all saw a massive shift in dominance in terms of exclusivity. And I’m not talking about exclusive DLC content for certain games! Nintendo does this quite well, and they’ve been doing exclusivity well for years. Let me see if I can name exclusive franchises for the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 off the top of my head:

Xbox 360

Halo

Forza

Alan Wake

Dead Rising

Gears of War

Playstation 3

Metal Gear Solid

Heavy Rain

Yakuza

LittleBig Planet

Uncharted

The Last of Us

Infamous

Lair

White Knight Chronicles

Heavenly Sword

God of War

Killzone

And before anyone tries to freeze me in my tracks by shouting ‘Mass Effect’, allow me to break the ice. Mass Effect stopped being an exclusive when Electronic Arts purchased the developer, Bioware.  When they ported Mass Effect 1 and 2 over to the Playstation 3, it was inevitable that Mass Effect 3 would be a multi platform release. It would have been the perfect Xbox exclusive, in my opinion. Personally, I think Microsoft made a mistake by not scooping up the franchise before Electronic Arts. That particular franchise might have done better in Microsoft’s cereal bowl, but we can’t keep crying over spilled milk.

The sheer difference in my list is what makes me think that the Xbox One needs more exclusive titles. Remastering some Halo games won’t sell the consoles necessary for the Xbox One to re-establish the position the Xbox 360 gave them. Halo 5 won’t produce the numbers necessary to convince customers that it’s a good console and worth the still hefty price tag. The problem is that a lot of the game being released as of late are multi platform releases. This means that a lot of the games I’m looking forward to are going to be released for PC. And if I build a good rig, I can have my pick of some of the best games out there.

xbox one

Can someone buy me one of these?

With that in mind, and with a lot of the big games being released for the PC, why would anyone buy either gaming console? All the console manufacturers need to constantly ask themselves that question. If they’re smart, this is pasted on the ceiling over the executives beds and on the mirrors in their bathrooms. Keep in mind that a good PC rig ranges from $400-600, and it seems like I could have more options in terms of games. The PC versions of games cost at least $10 less than their console counter parts. And with Steam and Good Old Games discounting big titles every few months, it makes it more difficult for me to decide which console to buy.

In my opinion, it’s not about whether or not Halo 5 will save the Xbox One. This is about console exclusives, and the Xbox One needs a bunch of exclusive titles for its respective library. It’s the only way to validate its existence. Again, Nintendo doesn’t have this problem since they mainly deal in exclusives anyway. And as listed above, Sony has a bunch of exclusives to lean on, and I believe that there’s more to come.

When Microsoft begins dishing out more exclusive games to their console, Halo won’t be the crutch that it was. Right now, it seems like almost everything is riding on the success or failure of one game. Now that Microsoft is done backtracking, it’s time to move forward and give us some games!

2 Comments ON " Will Halo 5 Save The Xbox One? "
  • alt_example

    Young Sammich August 2, 2014 at 08:31 - Reply

    Oh, Vernon… an enjoyable read but you knew this was coming…

    Technically, Halo 3 and 4 are getting “remastered” in a way. 343 Head Honcho Frank O’Connor stated that the increased power of the Xbone over the 360 will actually improve resolution on Halo 3 and 4, but they are not get the new texture pack-overlay thingys that Halo 1 & 2 anniversary are. The last of us just a got a bump in resolution for the PS4 port, so it’s the same principle, and that is called a remastering.

    Not sure what you meant by “two Master Chiefs” but I’m assuming that was some kind of joke. The character on the top of the image is Agent Locke, who is an African American Spartan (the first introduced in the games) and will be starring in the upcoming live action series by Ridley Scott.

    Sorry bud, you know I’m a stickler for details on this series, even though it does seem to be going down the pooper, unfortunately. Otherwise, I agree with the focus of the article, though it is funny you mention Nintendo because they have been running on nostalgia for what seems like forever and doing well. We’ll have to see how it fares for Microsoft.

  • alt_example

    Gmandam August 2, 2014 at 10:23 - Reply

    The problem the Xbox One has is that it has no focus. Now it was the right move to get rid of the Kinect as a requirement, especially if it bumps the price up 100 smackers, and getting rid of the online DRM is one of the most suprisingly smart moves they’ve made in a while.

    But when all is said and done, it doesn’t have a hook now. The PS4 is a games machine that happens to play netflix and the like. The Wii U is a games machine, period. What is the Xbox One? I’m not quite sure, just that it’s not what was first sold to me as.

    While it was the right choice to change it, all they’ve done is place it on the same level as the other consoles, and that isn’t a sell anymore. A hook is needed, in some fashion. And it can’t be the games, the majority of which are platform agnostic.

    Until it works out what it is, It’s probably going to keep floundering.

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