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Halo Waypoint to be a new destination for fans on XBL

Thursday, 23rd July 2009 15:42 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

halo3

Microsoft has announced Halo Waypoint, a new destination for Halo fans on Xbox Live that is expected to launch in the fall.

It will provide players with the latest in Halo news and activities, as well as contain podcasts, screens, trailers and other video footage.

According to the press release, it will also “provide a new challenge for Halo gamers with a career system and player rankings tied to both in-game and out-of-game accomplishments related to Halo.”

Awesome. All this was hidden away in the press release announcing Halo Legends and the 343 bits. The whole this is below the jump, with Halo Waypoint highlighted for you.

REDMOND, Wash. — July 23, 2009 — A renowned set of storytellers from some of the world’s leading anime studios in Japan are about to take one of the most iconic franchises in science fiction and video games to a new level. Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with some of the most acclaimed anime creators, today unveiled a new project called “Halo Legends,” which will bring the “Halo” franchise and its sweeping sci-fi saga to an entirely new medium, in the form of several original anime short films.

Master Chief, Xbox 360’s iconic video game hero from the blockbuster “Halo” franchise, as interpreted by acclaimed anime studio Toei Animation.
Master Chief, Xbox 360’s iconic video game hero from the blockbuster “Halo” franchise, as interpreted by acclaimed anime studio Toei Animation.
Click for hi-res version.

“Halo Legends,” which will officially debut at a panel presentation today at Comic-Con International in San Diego, is being produced by Microsoft’s 343 Industries and features creative direction from anime pioneer Shinji Aramaki, director of the critically acclaimed “Appleseed” and “Appleseed EX Machina” anime features, and Mamoru Oshii, director of the landmark “Ghost in the Shell” movies, with additional production from Joseph Chou of J-Spec Pictures. The compilation will include a series of short stories that explore different times, themes and characters from the “Halo” universe and will be distributed globally by Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. company. Influential studios that are part of the project include the creators behind some of the most popular and celebrated anime to come from Japan, such as “The Animatrix,” “Cowboy Bebop,” “Fullmetal Alchemist,” “Ghost in the Shell,” “Dragon Ball” and more.

“The opportunity to work with talents such as Shinji Aramaki, Mamoru Oshii and others from some of the greatest anime studios is a very rare opportunity for Microsoft,” said Frank O’Connor, “Halo” franchise development director and provider of story and creative direction for 343 Industries. “We’ve seen the world through Master Chief’s eyes, and we’ve experienced facets of the universe through a variety of literary prisms, but now we get to watch new tales unfold in really rich, visually dynamic ways. I think anime fans and ‘Halo’ fans alike are in for a real treat.”

Set hundreds of years in the future, the “Halo” series of games and novels chronicle mankind’s struggles against an alien collective known as the Covenant. The Covenant is scouring the universe for relics it believes will lead it to a new life and is destroying civilizations and planets that stand in its way. The most prolific hero from the fiction is a super soldier or Spartan known as Master Chief, who is the main protagonist in the original trilogy of Xbox and Xbox 360 “Halo” titles. In the trilogy, Master Chief discovers that the Covenant is intent on activating a series of mysterious ring worlds known as “Halos,” which would ultimately exterminate life throughout the universe. He becomes mankind’s champion in a race against an unrelenting enemy in its most desperate hour. Through The New York Times best-selling novels, comics and additional Xbox 360 games such as “Halo Wars” and the upcoming “Halo 3: ODST,” the universe has grown and tales of other heroes have emerged.

“‘Halo’ and its characters are a very natural fit for anime,” said Aramaki, creative director for the “Halo Legends” project. “As a fan of the ‘Halo’ universe, it is an honor to work with Microsoft and my very talented peers from other studios to create this collection.”

  • Studios involved in the “Halo Legends” project include Bones Inc., Casio Entertainment Inc., Production I.G, STUDIO4˚C and Toei Animation.
  • Bones. Founded in 1998, Bones has become one of the top animation studios in Japan in less than a decade. The studio is best known for its incredible body of work on mega-hit franchises such as “Cowboy Bebop: The Movie,” “Fullmetal Alchemist,” “Sword of the Stranger” and “Eureka Seven.”
  • Casio Entertainment. Casio Entertainment was founded in 2004 and is renowned for its visual effects work on the movie “Dai Nipponjin” (“Big Man of Japan”), which was officially invited to the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 2008 Asian Film Awards. Casio Entertainment is also known for its computer-generated animation support work on several top Japanese video games.
  • Production I.G. Production I.G has produced a number of acclaimed feature films, original video animation, TV shows and video games. For their storytelling and quality of animation, “Ghost in the Shell,” “Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade” and “Blood: The Last Vampire” have earned critical accolades in Japan and all around the world. “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence,” directed by Mamoru Oshii in 2004, was the first Japanese animation feature ever to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Festival de Cannes.
  • STUDIO4˚C.STUDIO4˚C is one of the top animation studios in Japan. Founded by the industry veteran Eiko Tanaka and acclaimed animation artist Koji Morimoto, it has become globally known for its uncanny ability to marry the spirit of high art with mainstream anime aesthetic. STUDIO4˚C is known for works including “The Animatrix,” “Tekkonkinkreet” and “Batman: Gotham Knight.”
  • Toei Animation. Toei Animation, established in 1956, is the oldest animation studio in Japan. Toei has produced the largest number of global hit TV anime series for kids, such as “Dragon Ball,” “Digimon,” “Sailor Moon,” “One Piece” and many more.

The complete “Halo Legends” collection will be distributed by Microsoft partner Warner Home Video, which will have more to announce on its release and distribution plans soon.

“As a leading entertainment distributor and a company identified with premier anime content, we’re very pleased to be working with Microsoft on ‘Halo Legends,’” said Amit Desai, vice president, Family, Animation and Partner Brands Marketing, Warner Home Video. “The combination of the talent involved and the ‘Halo’ brand ensure the collection is something consumers are really going to enjoy.”

A preview of select “Halo Legends” episodes will first debut on Xbox LIVE, the largest gaming and entertainment network in the world, starting this fall through a new experience called Halo Waypoint.

Launching in fall, Halo Waypoint will be a new destination for “Halo” fans on Xbox LIVE around the world. It will inform fans of the latest “Halo” news and activities, and grant access to content ranging from podcasts, trailers and screenshots, to exclusive video footage you won’t find anywhere else. It also will provide a new challenge for “Halo” gamers with a career system and player rankings tied to both in-game and out-of-game accomplishments related to “Halo.” In addition to the limited, early episode premieres, Halo Waypoint will debut several behind-the-scenes videos that chronicle the making of “Halo Legends.”

More information will be shared about “Halo Legends” today at a panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The “Halo” franchise panel will be hosted by O’Connor, moderated by Chou, and will feature guests Aramaki; Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, president of Production I.G; and Tanaka, president of STUDIO4˚C. The panel takes place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. PDT in Room 6BCF of the San Diego Convention Center. “Halo Legends” panelists will sign autographs at the Microsoft Xbox 360 booth in Hall G #5225 from 6 to 7 p.m. There also will be a signing at the Warner Bros. booth Hall F #4329 on Friday, July 24, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., with O’Connor and 343 Industries’ managing editor Kevin Grace on hand to answer questions about the project. In addition, the first trailer for “Halo Legends” will debut exclusively tonight on “GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley,” airing at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT on Spike TV.

About “Halo”

The “Halo” franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that have grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” for Xbox in 2001, the rich fiction of the franchise has since inspired a series of blockbuster Xbox and Xbox 360 video games, The New York Times best-selling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more.

Published by Microsoft Game Studios, the “Halo” franchise of games is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and the games are optimized for the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. More than 27 million copies of “Halo” games have been sold worldwide, driving more than 2 billion hours of gameplay by people connected to Xbox LIVE. In February 2009, the “Halo” franchise expanded into the real-time strategy genre with “Halo Wars,” which went on to become the best-selling real-time strategy game on any current generation console. On Sept. 22, 2009, Microsoft will release “Halo 3: ODST,” the next chapter for “Halo” and prequel to the events that transpire in “Halo 3.”

About 343 Industries

343 Industries is the publisher of the blockbuster “Halo” series of videogames and, as part of Microsoft Game Studios, oversees the “Halo” franchise, including novels, comics, licensed collectibles, apparel and more. 343 Industries is home to world-class developers working on future “Halo” projects, including “Halo Legends” and Halo Waypoint, as well as partnering with renowned developers such as Bungie LLC and Robot Entertainment to produce “Halo” games for Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE.

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18 Comments

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  1. M337ING

    Xbox? More like HaloBox, since it seems the 360 is unable to hold on anything else. (everything goes to PC or PS3…)

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Tonka

    In the future there will be people who only play HALO.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Psychotext

    That reminds me of a funny youtube vid I once saw… I’ll see if I can dig it up.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Psychotext

    Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA4tG4OGI8k

    :D

    #4 5 years ago
  5. joshua nash

    @psychotext that vid was funny especially at the end it had me roflmao

    anyway the halo animes are going to be interest but the one i want to see is Production I.G.’s,cause they always make with the awesomeness

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Hunam

    Production I.G. are legends, but I dislike the lack of GITS over the past few years.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Michael O'Connor

    “Xbox? More like HaloBox, since it seems the 360 is unable to hold on anything else. (everything goes to PC or PS3…)”

    Fanboy. It’s a huge franchise, they’d be stupid not to promote it as such.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. freedoms_stain

    Holy shit the Halo cash cow must be one mother fuckingly fat heffer of a bitch not to have been drained to death by now.

    Watch this space for Master Chief Kart, coming soon!

    #8 5 years ago
  9. No_PUDding

    Michael O’Connor, your posts recently have deteriorated into utter shit. Another word you shouldn’t use is fanboy, unless it’s a joke.

    Just ignore blatantly idiotic people, otherwise it sounds like you are hurt by it.

    DO IT

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Michael O'Connor

    “Michael O’Connor, your posts recently have deteriorated into utter shit. Another word you shouldn’t use is fanboy, unless it’s a joke.”

    I apologise for not feeling the need to write 20 page essay responses when a line of text does the job just as well, or for not realising that there was an competition for the quality of posts.

    And you know what they say about the shoe, if it fits…

    #10 5 years ago
  11. No_PUDding

    I actually don’t know, if you ahev the time please spell it out for me.

    You don’t need to even respond to him at all, by the way. I felt the need to respond to you, becuase you never were previously like that.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Michael O'Connor

    “I actually don’t know, if you ahev the time please spell it out for me.”

    If the shoe fits, wear it. It means “If it applies to you, take it to heart.” or “If this describes you, then I’m talking about you.”

    Basically, if someone’s acting like a fanboy, they’ll be called a fanboy. and complaining about one of the biggest franchises in the world being promoted heavily (especially if he’s a PS3 owner) is especially fanboyish.

    “You don’t need to even respond to him at all, by the way. I felt the need to respond to you, because you never were previously like that.”

    You must be seriously blind if you’ve never seen me respond to someone like that before.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. No_PUDding

    Okay, well I don’t know then, I just took you for someone who I’d listen to, before. I agree he’s talking utter shit, but it was just a reaction I didn’t expect from you. Maybe I misjudged you.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Michael O'Connor

    I think you might just be reading into my post a little too much. It was one passing comment about someone’s fanboyism.

    Anyway… HALO! WHOO! FUCK YEAH!!!

    Actually, not really. I’m not a Halo fan, but it’s a bloody huge franchise, so it’s nice to see its getting the extra focus for the sake of the fans.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Gadzooks!

    If you have no interest in the Halo franchise but feel compelled to go to a Halo thread and post ‘OMG teh suxxorz’ then that indicates one thing: Thinly veiled jealousy.

    Do something more constructive than trolling.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. LeD

    This makes me wonder whatever happened to the Peter Jackson’s projects? And the Halo movie for that matter?

    #16 5 years ago
  17. fearmonkey

    I’m waiting for the Master Chef cooking channel, where all good spartans get their online recipies.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. fearmonkey

    @LeD go to joystick there is an interview with jackson on just that subject. Im sad to say jackons halo project died when the movie died.

    #18 5 years ago