Well, that was quick. Following on from the beta flight campaign that Microsoft ran last month, we’ve not got a release date for Halo 2: Anniversary on PC. It’s going to be out of beta and receiving a wide release on May 12, less than a month after the start of the beta testing period. They’ve maintained that kind of pace with their previous betas, which suggests to me that these games were very close to ready once they entered beta, and it’s at most some final tests, tweaks and polish after the beta to get them ready for release.
Technically this isn’t the first time this game has been made available on PC, there was a PC release of this back in 2007, but it was tied to the unpopular gaming service Games For Windows Live, and was one of the first games to require to users to update to the troubled versions of Windows, Windows Vista. It never really got the chance it deserved back then, and now with a major graphical overhaul, a robust modern porting effort, and as part of the whole package of games in the Master Chief Collection, it’s finally ready for a proper release on PC.
All eyes now will be on their roadmap for the rest of the games in the series getting a new release on PC. Halo 2 marks the half-way point, following on from the releases of Halo Reach and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and on the road ahead are Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST and Halo 4, none of which have ever had any kind of PC release, so this will be the first time these titles have been released outside of the Xbox. The rest of the games are still scheduled for 2020, but no more specific dates than that.
It’s been a long road to get this series available for PC players, and it’s taken a shift of mindset from Microsoft, who clearly in the past prefer to prioritize console releases for the Halo series, seeing it as the crown jewel in the Xbox crown, whereas today they’ve taken a more open approach on this particular matter, as more of their games are coming to PC than ever before, and with fewer strings attached. There’s no requirement to use a clunky and barely functional service like Games For Windows Live, or even updating to a new version of Windows since these new Halo releases even work on Windows 7.
Have you been playing any of these new Halo releases? Which title in the collection is your favorite? Are there any other previously Xbox only games that you’d like to see on PC? Let us know in the comments.