MICROSOFT has delayed its biggest blockbuster game for the Xbox Series X: Halo Infinite.
The game was expected to launch alongside the next-gen console in November, but that dream is now lost.
Instead, gamers will have to wait until 2021 to play Halo Infinite.
Worse still, there’s no specific date set – so it could be many months before you’ll be able to play the long-awaited title.
“Our vision at Xbox and 343 Industries has always been to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever for our fans, while also balancing the team’s well-being,” said Xbox’s Will Tuttle.
“To do that, we will need some more time to finish the critical work necessary to launch Halo Infinite, which will come in 2021.”
It was previously expected that Halo Infinite would launch alongside the Xbox Series X.
Halo is an iconic Xbox franchise, and is seen as a major sales driver for Microsoft’s consoles.
The delay means the Xbox Series X will now be at a disadvantage compared to Sony’s rival PlayStation 5 – also expected later this year.
Worryingly for Microsoft, the PS5 has a very impressive list of next-gen games.
These include a new Resident Evil game, as well as Horizon: Forbidden West – a sequel to the acclaimed Horizon: Zero Dawn.
There’s also Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which builds on the existing (and hugely popular) Spider-Man game.
Then there are other treats like Gran Turismo 7, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and a graphically stunning remake of Demon’s Souls.
It’s also likely that popular and recent PS4 games will land on the PS5, including Ghosts of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part 2.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has offered up a slightly less mind-blowing list of games.
The big trump card in the Xbox deck is Halo Infinite – a Microsoft exclusive that will likely tempt longstanding fans of the franchise.
However, Halo Infinite’s delay may hurt launch sales of the new Xbox console.
Other attractive titles include a new Forza Motorsport, Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Dirt 5.
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is a next-gen games console designed to directly compete with Sony’s PlayStation 5.
It’s a towering black box with a minimalist interior, and a familiar Xbox joypad.
The Series X promises 12-teraflops of graphical output, slightly more than the PS5.
Teraflops – or rather, trillions of operations per second – are a way of measuring how faster a graphics card can work.
Respected Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks we’ll see a major price war between Microsoft and Sony this year.
Speaking to HOAR, Pachter said the Xbox Series X will likely cost $499, while the two versions of the PS5 will come in at $499 and $599.
“They’re playing a game of chicken to see who blinks first,” said Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, speaking to HOAR.
“Microsoft is fully prepared to price at $499 regardless of cost, but I think Sony is hopeful that they will announce first.
“Microsoft is going to wait for Sony to blink first.”
Sadly, neither Microsoft nor Sony have confirmed pricing for either of their consoles – or even hinted at a range.
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