Halo Infinite gets new Fall 2021 release window

Halo Infinite is going from an Xbox Series X launch title to a late 2021 release, following a Tuesday announcement from 343 Industries.

Microsoft recently launched its next-generation console and some may notice its distinct lack of major launch titles. The Xbox Series X was supposed to have a flagship release game, but Halo Infinite needed some more time in the oven. As it turns, it needs much more time in the oven than some might have expected. On Tuesday, 343 Industries announced that Halo Infinite is now set to release sometime in Fall 2021.

The announcement comes from Halo Waypoint. The team is citing a number of changes that the game will have to undergo, much of it based off of feedback from July’s Xbox Games Showcase. The team acknowledges the need to build on July’s demo, particularly striving for greater visual fidelity.

However, there are some other areas that 343 will focus on, as well. With that in mind, the team shared a first screenshot of a Halo Infinite multiplayer map and spoke of their approach to designing them for this long-awaited sequel.

“From a graphics technology perspective, the majority of the rendering pipeline and rendering techniques are shared between interior and exterior spaces,” Graphics Development Manager Ani Shastry said. “Very similar shading models, shadowing algorithms, and post processing effects are used in either case. Where the primary difference comes into play is the sheer density of content in the expansive outdoor environment and the challenges that brings in authoring the content at scale, and then at runtime efficiently streaming all that data and rendering it at a smooth 60 frames per second at high resolutions. Another difference that is unique to the exterior environment is the seamless time of day, which requires a more dynamic global illumination approach, along with providing various knobs to control the elements of lighting, sky and atmospherics, and color grading as time progresses.”

The continuing development on multiplayer will be one item to continue watching for, especially as Infinite’s multiplayer goes free-to-play. Lead Progression Designer Chris Blohm notes that there will be premium cosmetics included in the game, but also adds that there will be ample opportunities to earn free components by engaging in special events or by playing the Infinite campaign.

Halo Infinite will release on Xbox Series X & S, as well as Xbox One, in Fall/Autumn 2021.