343 Industries Sets Expectations For First Big Halo: The Master Chief Collection Patch

Microsoft and 343 Industries knows the Halo: MCC package was, shall we say, less than ideal. Ok, it was a straight-up disaster. The games themselves were fine, but the integration into one package was rife with bugs and matchmaking problems.

343 told us they were going to fix it, and this week they announced a timeframe for when we’ll see the first big fix. The devs aren’t quite willing to put a firm release date on it, but they are “targeting release of the first patch sometime later this Summer,” according to a blog post.

343 also knows this is their last chance to fix the Halo: MCC mess. “Ultimately, this project is driven by quality first and foremost, so the team will take as much time as needed to achieve their goals.”

So, what’s coming in the first big patch? Let’s take a look:

– Intelligent Install
– Xbox One X Visual Enhancements
– HDR/SDR Calibration Settings
– Networking and matchmaking Improvements (Continuous Matchmaking, Network/Multiplayer API updates)
– P1 & P2 Bug Fixes
– LAN Support
– UI & UX Updates (Main Menu, Title Screen Video, Button States/Highlight States)

That Custom Game Browser I’m pumped to see? That’s coming later and is pretty much the top priority in the second patch according to 343.

Most of the features in the first patch are self-explanatory. 343 talks a bit more on exactly what Intelligent Install is in their blog post. Basically, it allows you to pick and choose what parts of the Halo: MCC you want to install and play.

As for the Xbox One X enhancements? The goal is to get all the games running in 4K, but Halo 2: Anniversary might not hold that resolution constantly. It was coded using variable resolution to always prioritize frame rate. “It’s likely that H2A’s campaign, while getting a sweet visual boost, will still fundamentally rely on a ‘variable resolution’ model,” 343’s Brian Jarrard writes.

It’s great to see 343 being transparent about what’s going on and reaching out to the community every step of the way. I’ll give them their props for revisiting Halo: MCC. It’s been more than three years since it released. It would have been easy just to shrug and move on.

But the past few years have seen a shift under new Xbox head Phil Spencer. Xbox One’s launch was rough, but the future’s looking brighter for the console. The Xbox One X, Game Pass, and backward compatibility have been huge. Crafting first-party games takes a little longer. Hopefully, we’ll see that side of Xbox come into focus at E3 in a few months.