Xbox Series X to launch in November, Halo Infinite delayed to 2021

It's unclear if the backlash to the game's recent reveal played a role in the decision

Xbox Series X

Along with confirming the Series X will launch in November 2020, Microsft has also revealed that it’s pushing Halo Infinite‘s release to 2021.

The tech giant previously planned to launch the Xbox Series X and Halo Infinite at the same time, marking the first time since the original Xbox that Microsoft would release a new console alongside a new entry in its flagship franchise.

“Today I want to share an important Halo Infinite development update with the community. We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision,” reads a blog post by the head of Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries, Chris Lee.

Lee goes on to say the delay is the “result of multiple factors,” including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s unclear if the resounding negative response to Halo Infinite’s simplistic visual style also played a role in Microsoft and 343 Industries’ decision to delay the game. While many were upset with the Halo Infinite‘s simplistic visuals, I really appreciated the throwback to Halo: Combat Evolved‘s stripped-down art style.

That said, there is likely more at play here than the response to what some viewed as lacklustre visuals.

“We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment. The passion and support the community has shown over the years has been incredible and inspiring. We wanted nothing more than to play our game with the community this holiday. The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect,” said Lee.

At the end of July, Microsoft confirmed Halo Infinites multiplayer will be free-to-play and runs at up to 120fps.

It remains unclear when the Xbox Series X will specifically launch in November or how much the console will cost. Microsoft is rumoured to have plans to show off a less powerful version of the Series X called the Series S this month.

With the Xbox Series X’s release drawing increasingly closer, it remains unclear how Microsoft will fill the launch lineup void left behind by Halo Infinite.

Alongside the announcement regarding Halo Infinite’s delay, Microsoft confirmed that 50 new games are “planned for this year across generations and optimized for the Series X.” The company also said that the Series X will launch with Xbox Game Pass, and that more than 40 popular games will be optimized to take advantage of the console.

Source: 343 Industries, Microsoft