After months of rumors, Microsoft has confirmed one of its worst-kept secrets – Halo: The Master Chief Collection is heading to PC for the first time ever.
The announcement was made during the latest episode of Microsoft’s ‘Inside Xbox’ series – and the game is actually coming not just to Microsoft’s native Windows Store but will also be available on Steam.
The new version of the game supposedly isn’t a mere port, but instead is a ground-up rebuild for the PC audience. During the Inside Xbox announcement very PC-focused features were mentioned including rebuilt mouse and keyboard controls, custom keybindings and support for PC graphics options like ultrawide, different frame rate options and even adjustable field of view. On the official Halo site, Microsoft says the aim is for the PC version to be “first class”.
This all comes with a slight catch: The Master Chief Collection on PC will launch in parts, game-by-game. One title will be released at a time until this entire gathering of Halo titles is available in-full – campaign, multiplayer and co-op modes alike.
As part and parcel of this roll-out strategy, Halo Reach will also be making its way to Master Chief Collection. Reach is set to run at 60FPS and in 4K with HDR support if you’ve got the right Xbox hardware, just as with the other MCC titles.
With this addition the game includes Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3 ODST, Halo 4 and now Halo Reach. In fact, the only major FPS Halo title now missing is Halo 5: Guardians.
On PC, Reach will be the very first Halo title from Master Chief Collection to be released at some point “later this year”. It’ll then be followed by the other games. On Xbox One the multiplayer, forge and theater modes from Reach will be added to Master Chief Collection free of charge, while the campaign and firefight content will be premium DLC. Xbox Gamepass subscribers will get the full remastered Reach package for free.
343 Industries is in control of this continued development, but the studio is also being assisted by Splash Damage and Ruffian on the PC and Reach development.
This is a major move and one that will greatly please Halo fans. Halo: Combat Evolved was released on PC a short while after the original Xbox, while Halo 2 was a Windows Vista exclusive – but beyond that the series has always skipped PC. The core Halo series has also never been available via Steam.
What isn’t yet clear is if this title will be Play Anywhere. Master Chief Collection is on Xbox Gamepass already, but if it’s also a Play Anywhere title that’ll be significant – it’d mean anybody who owns the digital Xbox One version will immediately have access to the game on PC via the Windows Store.