Yesterday, a flurry of sites reported on the rumour that Microsoft are currently working on a HD remake of the original Halo and today they’ve responded to the claims: “Right now our focus is on supporting Halo: Reach. We have nothing to announce at this time.” Hmm, very different to Phil Spencer’s comments in late October about making HD version of classic titles. Back then the Microsoft Game Studios Corporate Vice President said “We obviously have a lot of new things going on, so the thought of re-doing a bunch of things is probably difficult to just weave into the overall portfolio.” Though he did also say how he didn’t think it was “necessarily a bad idea” and how he’d “think about it from a customer’s perspective.” Today’s noncommittal statement sounds like he and the rest of Microsoft have been thinking very hard about it since “nothing to announce at this time,” usually means something is coming.
The rumour (from Games Master magazine) stated that Halo: Combat Evolved HD would use the Reach engine and be released before the 2012 sequel to Halo 3 by 343 Industries. Eurogamer speculates that November 2011 would be a fitting time being the tenth anniversary of Halo and all.
Not since GoldenEye on the N64 has there been such a revolutionary console FPS like Halo. Spawning a massive following of dedicated fans, remaking the original based on the superb Reach would no doubt be very popular, as long as they streamline the library level and maybe address the fact that the flood are a pain in the butt.
Though it’s not like a remake is necessarily ‘needed’ since you can already play it upscaled on the Xbox 360 thanks to the backward compatibility and Live Marketplace. When Spencer dismissed the idea back in October, he was criticised for doing so when Sony’s initiative to release HD versions of their classic franchises was very well received. However, for the majority of PS3, playing upscaled games from last generation isn’t an option unless they’re remade for their latest console. But regardless of system, be it PS3, Xbox 360 or even Wii, a remake of any sort if enough to induce excitement in the fanboys. Lets see how this rumour pans out…