Halo’s been at a crossroads ever since Halo: Reach launched in September. With developer Bungie now locked in a 10-year, multi-console deal with Activision, Microsoft alone must decide what to do with its golden Xbox franchise.
But don’t expect anything rash in the near future. Over at Joystiq, Alexander Sliwinski’s sources say Microsoft will release a remake of the original game, Halo: Combat Evolved, in time for the holidays. Alexander has a solid record with Microsoft rumors — last year he broke the news that the Xbox 360 would support storage on USB sticks — and this report has a bunch of specifics.
For instance, Microsoft is reportedly targeting a November 15 release date, marking the first game’s 10-year anniversary. It may support 1080p resolution and 3D televisions, and will likely feature online cooperative play, new art assets and control schemes from more recent Halo games.
A remake wouldn’t tread only familiar ground, either. Halo: Combat Evolved launched on the original Xbox before the advent of Xbox Live, so multiplayer was restricted to split screens and LAN parties. Although my enthusiasm for Halo has waned over the last decade, I’d probably be a sucker for the first game’s iconic maps and weapons in online multiplayer. (If Microsoft starts remaking Halo 2, we’ll know something’s wrong on a creative level.)
As for doing new things with Halo, rumors are circulating that Microsoft will involve Kinect in the next rendition, but that game is unlikely to arrive in 2011. A Halo remake would make for a convenient snack — and easy money — while Microsoft new Halo-centric 343 Industries develops a more ambitious project.