All Articles: Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Microsoft officially announces 1 TB Xbox One console and new controller

The latest “worst kept secret in gaming” has crossed over into an official announcement as Microsoft has confirmed that an Xbox One console with a 1 TB hard drive will be available beginning June 16. The package will also feature an improved Xbox One controller with more responsive Bumpers and a 3.5mm headphone jack. A download code good for one copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection will also be included.

According to Xbox Wire, the 1 TB Xbox One console will be priced at $399. The 500 GB Xbox One console will continue to be available on store shelves and, best of all, it’s $349 price tag will become permanent.

Finally, that new Xbox One controller will also be released separately in standard black or in a special camo-colored “Covert Forces” pattern.

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Halo 3: ODST and “Remnant” map now available for Halo: Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection got a little bigger yesterday when Microsoft added the Halo 3: ODST single-player campaign and the Halo 2 Anniversary “Remnant” map as downloadable options.

Halo 3: ODST is set between Halo 2 and Halo 3 and follows a team of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST) in the aftermath of the New Mombasa invasion. Featuring upgraded graphics, the Halo 3: ODST campaign is available as a free download if you played Halo: The Master Chief Collection between November 11, 2014 and December 19, 2014. However, if you’re new to the compilation, the campaign can be download for $4.99. Max Szlagor, a Senior Game Designer at 343 Industries, and Joseph Staten, a developer on the original Xbox 360 version of Halo 3: ODST, discuss the game in the video above.

Meanwhile, the “Remnant” map is based on Halo 2’s “Relic” map, and is available as a free content update for everyone. According to Microsoft, the “Remnant” maps features “a towering and iconic Forerunner megalith, weathered over untold millennia. The map’s asymmetric layout and the artifact’s elevated, yet embedded, position, make it perfect for classic Slayer, Assault, and 1-Flag CTF game types.” A detailed look at the “Remnant” map, part of The Halo Channel’s “Breaking Down the Map” series, can be found after the break. (more…)

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Xbox One + Halo: The Master Chief Collection System Bundle is now available

xboxonehalobundleAfter working out the majority of Halo: The Master Chief Collection‘s technical problems, Microsoft quietly released a special Xbox One system bundle over the weekend that comes packaged with a digital download of the game.

Priced at $349, the bundle will also include a standard 500GB Xbox One console, a wireless controller, a headset, and a voucher for two free weeks of Xbox Live Gold. In case you’re unfamiliar with The Master Chief Collection, it’s the perfect primer for this Fall’s Halo 5: Guardians. The compilation includes all four “main” games from the franchise (Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4) and Microsoft plans to make the Halo 3: ODST spinoff available as downloadable content in the near future.

The bundle is now available through the Microsoft Store and will slowly trickle out to other stores throughout the month.

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Halo: Master Chief Collection owners will receive Halo 3: ODST for Xbox One for free

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Microsoft and 343 Industries are still working on a patch to fix the matchmaking problems found in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. As a way of apologizing for these issues, the publisher and developer will offer players who purchased the game before December 19 a free month of Xbox Live Gold service and a series of free content updates over the next week:

  • All ten Halo 4: Spartan Ops episodes
  • Exclusive In-Game Nameplate
  • Exclusive In-Game Avatar

Finally, Microsoft will add “Relic,” a remastered Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer map, and the popular Halo 3: ODST campaign to Halo: The Master Chief Collection sometime in the future. According to Xbox Wire, development has just begun on both, so it might be a while before they’re available. But as with the Spartan Ops episodes, both will be available for free for Master Chief Collection owners who purchased the game before December 19.

Presumably, both downloadable additions will be available for everyone, but no announcement has been made as of yet.

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Insert Quarter: Broken Games Are Still Broken

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Yes, we’re still talking about games that were shipped to stores broken and still haven’t been fixed after nearly half-a-dozen patches apiece. In light of all the problems that Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Halo: The Master Chief Collection has caused for Ubisoft and Microsoft, respectively, Joystiq’s Richard Mitchell looked at what companies are trying to do to prevent this from happening in the future. And the answer seems to be… “not much.”

Sony will gladly take your $60 to pre-purchase Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End through the PlayStation Store, and that’s because they’ve added a disclaimer stating they don’t have to refund your money if it gets canceled. But on the other hand, CD Projekt delayed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt when it became obvious that they wouldn’t be able to ship the game in February as originally planned. Even though the average gamer now expects the games they purchase to be patched many times over:

What’s really alarming, however, is that this process is standard practice now. Not only do we expect games to have problems at launch, but we tolerate it. We shrug our shoulders, saying “that’s just the way it is,” while developers and publishers take advantage of one of the most passionate audiences in existence.

That’s unacceptable.

The full article is available for your perusal at Joystiq.

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The greatest trick CoD: Advanced Warfare ever pulled was being Nov 2014’s best-selling game

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Activision’s Call of Duty franchise continues its reign atop the video game world by capturing the top spot in The NPD Group’s survey of November 2014’s best-selling games. It managed to hold off a strong challenge from Grand Theft Auto V, which received a huge boost from its new-generation re-release.

Nintendo had a very good month as Super Smash Bros. For Wii U and Super Smash Bros. For 3DS managed to sneak into the top three thanks to their combined might (The NPD Group considers them one game for the purposes of the monthly list). Further down the list, Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire shot to #5 while Pokemon: Omega Ruby owned the #7 spot (for some reason, the latest Pokemon release is considered two separate games by The NPD Group).

Ubisoft also had multiple games in the top ten, including Far Cry 4 at #6. Assassin’s Creed: Unity entered the list at #9, and while that’s an impressive achievement, it’s well below the top-three ranking attained by both Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag during their respective debut months.

Finally, Microsoft has plenty to crow about tonight as they’ve revealed to IGN that that the Xbox One outsold the PS4 for the first time.

The full top ten for November 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)

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Halo: Spartan Strike now scheduled for early 2015 release

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Halo: Spartan Strike has been delayed to early 2015 from its original December 12 release date, according to the Halo Waypoint blog. Bravo from 343 Industries said that the delay is due to the developer’s desire to fix the matchmaking issues in Halo: The Master Chief Collection:

“While we’re excited about this all-new Halo experience, our commitment to resolving the current matchmaking issues in Halo: The Master Chief Collection remains the top priority. As a result, we have decided to move the release of Halo: Spartan Strike to early 2015.”

Halo: Spartan Strike was announced earlier this year as a “touch-based top-down shooter.” It is currently scheduled to be released for Steam, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. The game might make its way to consoles in the future as the first game in the series, Halo: Spartan Assault, was also released for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

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Insert Quarter: Should Games Have All Content Unlocked From the Outset?

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Back in the NES era, many games included cheats or Game Genie codes to unlock some of the more difficult levels or fill our coffers with 1-Ups. How else were we supposed to beat Battletoads? But today’s games don’t do that, opting instead to lock much of their advanced content behind a scavenger hunt for baubles or a seemingly impossible boss fight. Most games, but not all. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a rather notable exception. Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland writes that Microsoft’s decision to unlock every campaign level and multiplayer match type was a master stroke:

It doesn’t have to be this way, as Halo: The Master Chief Collection and its immediate unlocks show. Original campaigns aren’t going anywhere, and we’re not about to start skipping content by default. But there’s no reason to prevent players from deciding how and when they can access whatever content is in a game—from levels and items to weapons and costumes—at the moment they first launch it.

You can read the rest of the article at Ars Technica.

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