Halo 4 artwork

Hail to the Chief: Halo is coming to PC

Halo: Reach will be added to The Master Chief Collection and all six games released on PC for the first time, Microsoft has announced.

The prequel will join Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST (campaign) and Halo 4, and the entire collection will be available on MS Store and Steam.

343 Industries, the makers of the hugely popular Halo franchise, said they wanted to “bring the Halo Universe… to a new audience” – the games are currently only available on Xbox.

“For the team at 343 Industries, the most important and critical element of this project is ensuring that Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) delivers a true ‘first class’ experience on PC,” Brian Jarrard, Community Director at 343 Industries, wrote in a blog post. “We’re embarking on a journey with our community to build a PC experience that delivers on PC gamer expectations. The team is passionately committed to ensuring that all of the features, bells, and whistles expected in a modern PC title are included with MCC.”

The Halo series tells of an interstellar war between humans and an alliance of aliens known as the Covenant. Players take control of Master Chief, a supersoldier who is helped by an artificial intelligence companion called Cortana. They proved to be a hit with gamers, and tens of millions of copies have been sold to date.

Halo’s release on PC will happen in stages, with Microsoft releasing them one by one over time. This gives “the development teams the ability to ensure each one is right, while giving players a chance to jump in right away, rather than having to wait for the entire suite of games to be completed”, Jarrard added. Halo: Reach will be first, as it is the beginning of the Halo story, followed by Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo3: ODST (campaign) and Halo 4.

Jarrard also said “each game will evolve and grow over time with community input”.

As with the rest of The Master Chief Collection, Halo: Reach will be updated to run in 4K/HDR and 60 frames per second on compatible hardware. The game’s multiplayer content, including Forge and the Theatre, will be automatically included for everyone who owns The Master Chief Collection, while Campaign and Firefight will be offered together as a digital add-on.

Anyone who subscribes to Xbox Game Pass – the company’s online subscription service featuring more than 100 titles – will be able to access to the entirety of Halo: Reach within The Master Chief Collection.

Xbox Wireless Controller – Phantom White Special Edition

Xbox Wireless Controller – Phantom White Special Edition

In a host of announcements during Inside Xbox, Microsoft also revealed that Minecraft will be added to Game Pass.

Launching on April 4, gamers can play the hit block-building game alone or team up with friends in split-screen or online multiplayer.

Game Pass subscribers will be able to play with more than 91 million people, in virtually every country in the world, on 20 platforms – including, Windows 10, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and mobile. They will also gain access to the Minecraft Marketplace, containing more than 1,000 pieces of content from 60 creators.

Finally, Microsoft unveiled a new Xbox Wireless Controller – the Phantom White Special Edition. Following on from the release of the Phantom Black Special Edition, the new controller transitions from a translucent white to see-through, showing the technology inside. It features gold mechanical components, with white, buttons, triggers, thumbsticks and bumpers, while there is are textured grips on the back.

Like all Xbox Wireless Controllers, the Phantom White Special Edition is compatible with the Xbox One family of devices and includes a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth technology for gaming on Windows 10 devices or Samsung Gear VR. You can also take advantage of the custom button-mapping feature through the Xbox Accessories app.

The controller will be available at retailers in the UK from April 11, priced at £59.99.