Bad news for anyone eager to get reacquainted with the Master Chief on their new Xbox Series X later this year: The poor guy needs a little more time to cook—which is kind of an unpleasant metaphor, since now we’re just picturing him covered in sweat under all of that heavy armor. What we’re trying to say is that Halo Infinite has been delayed into 2021, and while it didn’t have a concrete release date before this anyway, Microsoft and 343 Industries had said they were aiming to release it before the end of this year so it could still meet the launch window (and, you know, Christmas) for the Series X.
The developers at 343 made the announcement today on Twitter, explaining that “multiple factors” contributed to this decision. Of course, while the only specific one mentioned is the coronavirus (which has already caused multiple video game delays in the past few months and is totally understandable), it’s hard not to assume that another factor was the somewhat iffy reaction that the most recent trailer received back in July. The footage was fine, really, but “fine” isn’t necessarily what people want to see from the new Halo on the new Xbox, so it would make sense if 343 wants to use this time to tighten up the graphics on level three or whatever. Also: Video game developers are historically overworked and under-appreciated, so anything that can help maintain their mental and physical health is a good thing.
On top of all of that, there’s kind of a lot riding on this thing for Microsoft and its new Xbox, since Halo Infinite is one of the few big exclusive games you won’t be able to get on Sony’s PlayStation 5. If it comes out this year and it’s bad, the Series X is going to have to make up ground to convince people that it’s worth buying anyway. In theory, it has a better chance of being good if it comes out later, and then Microsoft can drum up more interest in the new console when Halo is ready.