Xbox One’s road to success hangs on Halo 5. Can Master Chief put Microsoft in pole position?
All eyes were on Xbox at its E3 2014 press briefing to see what exclusive goodies it could come up with to secure the success of the Xbox One console. The answer? It all hangs on Halo.
Throughout the briefing, which took place at The Galen Center in downtown Los Angeles, the audience was shown lots of top drawer titles - from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to Assassin's Creed 5 - but little of the selection was an Xbox One exclusive. How's that going to withstand the ongoing force of the PlayStation 4, which is outselling the Xbox One by some margin?
It all comes down to Master Chief, the star of the Halo gaming franchise. The mainstay of Xbox since the first console, throughout Xbox 360 and now on to Xbox One.
But Microsoft is milking the franchise somewhat, with Halo: The Master Chief Collection - the first of the release new releases, coming in November 2014 - essentially a remastered edition of the first four Halo games on one disc.
Ok, so each title does look a lot better and it's not just resolution that the game's developer, 343 Industries, has bumped up a notch. It's gone in deep and reworked the graphics substantially. And many of us know how great Halo games of old were - and for those who don't, here comes the chance to get on board and experience the history. It's a lot of Halo on one disc.
The bigger deal will be the release of Halo 5: Guardians. But for that you'll have to wait. Although the multi-player will begin its public beta in December 2014, the finished game won't hit the shelves until 2015.
Right now that might seem like forever to wait, with Forza Horizon 2 one of a handful of exclusive One titles to appear before the end of 2014.
But first person fans needn't fret: we've got Destiny, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (which looks to take many cues from Destiny, it must be said) and Battlefield: Hardline all on their way too. That's a bumper crop of shooters, but each of them will also arrive on the PlayStation 4 - and probably with a touch more graphical grunt.
So hold your breath Xbox fans: a lot hangs on Halo 5. Here's hoping Master Chief delivers, because - and no pressure 343 - but a stack of as-yet-unsold Xbox One consoles hangs on it.
Halo 5: Guardians will be out in 2015; Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be available from November 11 2014; both titles are Xbox One exclusives.