When Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One X at the E3 event last month, Halo was conspicuously absent. But 343 Industries has now confirmed that it is updating Halo 5: Guardians to offer true 4K gaming on the world’s most powerful console. 343 Industries and Microsoft said they would reveal more about Halo 5 for Xbox One X later this year.
Updated Halo 5 for Xbox One X to come later this year
Halo 5 will join more than 30 other titles that are receiving 4K updates for the new console. Halo fans were disappointed when Microsoft didn’t include the game in the list of titles getting 4K support at the E3 show. The updated Halo 5 for Xbox One X will be available later this year. 343 Industries has promised to share more details as we get “closer to release.”
343 Industries said in a statement that it was not ready to make the announcement at E3. Halo 5 and other games are part of the Xbox One X Enhanced program, where the existing titles are upgraded to take full advantage of the new console’s processing power and 4K capabilities. It means the developers will not re-release or remaster Halo 5 for Xbox One X.
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Instead, they will update the title to support 4K on Xbox One X. It is unclear how 343 Industries would improve the multiplayer experience. It’s safe to assume that Halo 5 would run at 60fps in 4K resolution. The developer has prioritized frame rates over resolution for the title. Halo 5 uses dynamic resolution scaling to run at 60fps.
Other Halo titles to get backward compatibility
343 Industries also announced that many of its Halo titles would come with backward compatibility for Xbox One by the end of this year. Halo 4, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 3: ODST will all get backward compatibility. They will include campaign and multiplayer modes. The company added that the Xbox 360 add-on map pack would be made free on the Xbox Store.
2017 marks the 10th anniversary of Halo 3. No, the company has no plans to launch a remastered Halo 3 Anniversary edition. The developers would instead bring a Halo 3 Anniversary Throwback playlist to Halo 5.
Xbox One X is a processing powerhouse
The Xbox One X’s raw processing power is unmatched in the gaming industry. It sports a custom octa-core 2.3GHz processor and 12GB of GDDR5 RAM. The console comes equipped with a custom AMD Polaris architecture GPU with six teraflops of processing power. It boasts of a 326GB/s memory bandwidth, 1TB of storage, HDR support, and 4K Blu-Ray drive. Despite packing so much processing power, the console is actually smaller than the entry-level Xbox One S.
Ever since Microsoft announced the Xbox One X, fans wanted to know how it would handle backward compatibility with Xbox One games and what benefits players should expect. Folks at Eurogamer talked to game developers to discuss whether existing Xbox One titles could hit 4K resolution on the new console. Games that run at 1080p on Xbox One require less GPU time to run at the same frame rate in 4K on Xbox One X. The extra GPU could be used for visual upgrades.
However, titles that run at 720p or 900p on Xbox One have serious trouble reaching 4K on Xbox One X. Such games could use dynamic scaling and checkerboarding to maintain their frame rates at higher resolutions on the new console. Eurogamer discusses the Xbox One X performance in great detail in this video, including improvements to games that aren’t optimized to take advantage of the One X.
Recently, Mike Ybarra, the Corporate Vice-President of XBox and Windows gaming told The Guardian that the new console is all about offering an immersive experience that would make people “lose track of time.” Microsoft says 4K is more than just a visual enhancement. It’s a subtle natural addition that makes visuals appear more lifelike.
Can Xbox One X outsell PS4 Pro?
Microsoft has built the world’s most powerful console, but it also needs to build a large library of must-have games. Otherwise, the Xbox One X would face stiff competition from Sony’s PS4 Pro. Sony’s console is $100 cheaper than One X, and has an impressive library of exclusive titles. The Xbox One X has been priced at $499 in the US. It’s for hardcore gamers who want the best experience without having to buy an expensive PC.
The console is set to launch on November 7th. Microsoft hasn’t yet started taking pre-orders for Xbox One X, but several retailers allow you to add it to your wishlist or sign up to get an email notification when it becomes available. Analysts believe that the Xbox One X’s high price tag would hurt its sales. According to DFC Intelligence, Microsoft is expected to sell a total of 17 million Xbox One X units by 2021. That’s not a huge number.
DFC Intelligence adds that the upcoming Xbox console would appeal to a “fairly narrow demographic” of players. The analytics firm added that Xbox One X would have a relatively “small addressable market” compared to PS4 and Nintendo Switch.