Halo Infinite is coming this holiday season. We’ve known that for a while, ever since it was delayed from its original November 2020 release window. But why hasn’t Microsoft announced a firm release date yet?
Halo Infinite is one of the flagship titles for the Xbox and was a primary focus in the Microsoft’s E3 showcase. While we’ve already been treated to gameplay footage from the campaign, E3 gave us an extended look at the game’s multiplayer. But rather than closing out the show with a release date for the highly anticipated title, Microsoft simply reiterated the holiday 2021 release window.
According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who recently appeared on Dropped Frames, Microsoft has narrowed the release window down to a few weeks. However, the company hasn’t quite nailed down a specific day.
"“We know kind of our range in the three-four week range. We don’t yet have the exact date. There’s some other things with some other game timing that we’re trying to look at.”"
One of the things Microsoft is trying to avoid is announcing a date and then having to move it a week or so for whatever reason. Spencer is concerned that would look like “a fail” following the game’s initial delay.
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Spencer didn’t mention any specific game or title that could be viewed as competition. Looking at the tentative release schedule for this holiday season there aren’t too many games that would be direct competition to Halo Infinite. Battlefield 2042, another first person shooter but with a completely different tone and feel, will release on October 22, but there’s really not much else in terms of first-person shooters.
Microsoft is releasing Forza Horizon 5 on November 9, so perhaps the company doesn’t want to cannibalize its own market. If that’s the case, then the holiday season seems to be a weird window to begin with as it’s usually the busiest time of year for game releases anyway.
Whatever the reason, it’s weird to see Microsoft watching the calendar for competition. You have to figure Halo Infinite, as the Xbox’s flagship title, is destined to do well regardless of what releases around it. Maybe Microsoft just wants to maximize on its potential, but I think Halo Infinite would do well regardless.