4. The Truth
The Internet - which is short for ?rumor mill? - has been speculating on this year?s E3 since last year?s E3. According to the ?Net, Halo 2.3 will be released on the current-gen to set up the story behind Halo 2.5 on the next-gen, the Xbox 360 has more processing power than a Sun Microsystems workstation, and you won?t need an IT degree to get your PlayStation 3 online. Frankly, we can?t wait for the truth. We already know the actual specs of the Xbox 360 (although you?ll need to wait until Thursday night), but we won?t really know about Microsoft?s real plans and the software coming up the pipeline until the show actually starts. SO, before you go believing another thread such as: ?OMG! THE XBOX 360 HAS AN ACTIVE CAMOUFLAGING SYSTEM!?, wait for the truth to come out after the show starts. The press releases can?t start flying soon enough.
Obviously last year during November there were a lot of rumors about Halo: Combat Evolved being re-released with an online component among other things and was being called Halo 1.5, and to be released on November 28th, "Black Friday."
This never happened, as we now know that Bungie was working feverishly to get Halo 2 out in store by their deadline of November 9th, 2004.
The rumor was at first that because Microsoft could not release Halo 3 with the Xbox 360's launch in November 2005, that there would be a secondary release sometime in the course of 2005-2006 called Halo 2.5. Speculation and rumors abounded on whether or not this would occur at all, and what it would include (from possibly Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, both with online multiplayer and upgraded graphics for Xbox 360 or even simply a multiplayer only game tied in with the story of Halo 2). None of these have been confirmed, but for the most part they remain elusively inconsistent with Bungie and Microsoft's stance and projection.
Now there are rumors about Halo 2.3 (covering the single-player elements left unfinished in Halo 2) being released for the Xbox by the end of the year and shortly thereafter Halo 2.5 for the Xbox 360. I'm not certain why they would address the Halo story in this way, or why anyone would think they would release such a set, but this is currently another rumor. A lot hinges on the Xbox 360's ability to be backwards compatible, which may be revealed tomorrow on the MTV program...
We of course are looking forward to late 2006 Halo 3 release to match up with PlayStation 3's launch. This appears to be the most reasonable, but the question remains, what do you think Bungie will do in the mean time?
Take into consideration this information from J. Allard of Microsoft when asked a specific question at GDC earlier this year:
What about those kick ass Halo 2 players who wanna be able to continue their reputation on the next Xbox? What if they can?t play that game?
J. Allard: We?ll have something for those kick ass Halo 2 players on the next system.
So you?ll be able to play Halo 2 on Xbox 2?
J. Allard: We?ll have something for those kick ass Halo 2 players in the next generation.
Is the next generation Xbox going to be backwards compatible or not?
J. Allard: You keep asking a question I?m not going to answer Geoff. Does that satisfy you?