Some may identify this as nostalgic gluttony, and that’s totally fine. We have all experienced the release of Halo: Reach that has reached the top-sellers list on the Steam platform, and the launch went relatively smoothly, barring a bug of six here and there (not the Flood-type). Even with its relatively short list of options for those that really want to maximize the load on their PCs, the successful launch has brought one question to the majority of players.
When’s the next Halo coming to the collection on Steam?
The Beta of Halo: Combat Evolved is expected to drop after the holiday season, so roughly January. If the beta is open to everyone on Steam, that means you can experience the original title in 4K 60FPS glory as soon as then. We could assume, then, based on empirical evidence of the Halo: Reach beta that Halo: Combat Evolved should arrive around July of 2020.
The beta of Halo: Reach was in full swing around July of 2019, and finally released yesterday. Six months between beta and release, and they’re still working on certain aspects; audio drivers, namely. So we can readily tack on an additional 6 months between beta and release if everything was similar between the two titles.
Yet that’s a very conservative estimate; Halo: CE was already released on PC (versus Halo: Reach which was not). Of course, just because it has been released doesn’t mean that 343 Industries has any easier of a task in front of them. They’re adamant to reach the 4K 60FPS minimum that they’ve promised, with uncapped framerates and FOV sliders.
Community director of Halo: The Master Chief Collection Brian Jarrard has stated that this has been more difficult than they originally thought it would be, but they’re not looking for an easy route through the port. Get it done right, and you only do it once, and their fanbase has made it clear that they aren’t looking for rushed products.
Presuming that we’re looking at seven months in between each release, (which is based on shaky empirical evidence, and it’s important to remember that!), we’ll have Halo: Combat Evolved around July, Halo 2: Anniversary around holiday 2020, Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST mid-to-late 2021, and Halo 4 in 2022. Yet these are guesses based on fluctuating timelines, and the longer a timeline goes on, the more difficult it is to get right.
As parsing and interpreting the various engines in use for the past titles continues to be worked on, it’s plausible that we could experience the entirety of the journey by the end of 2020. The primary tell will be the actual release date of Halo: Combat Evolved, as it adds another data point to our set.