At the 2011 E3, Microsoft officially announced Halo 4 would be released exclusively for Xbox 360 in time for the Holiday shopping season of 2012! In fact, Microsoft announced Halo 4 is part of a new Halo trilogy starring Master Chief John 117. But this is where the controversy is born. Will Halo 5 and Halo 6 also see a release for the Xbox 360?
If Halo 5 and Halo 6 are also full-size games, it means the soonest we would see each game is two years after the release of its predecessor. Even if the same graphics engine is used for each game, it means Halo 5 would be released in 2014 and Halo 6 in 2016. The fundamental problem with this is that 2016 is 11 years after the release of the Xbox 360. In all probability, Microsoft will have a new console on the market by 2016.
Industry insider sources at Microsoft have revealed to me that the current plan is to repeat history. Microsoft released Halo and Halo 2 for the original Xbox, and then released the conclusion to the trilogy for the Xbox 360. Halo 3 has sold over 10 million copies on the Xbox 360! All those fans of Halo and Halo 2 wanted to know how the trilogy ended, and the popularity of Halo 3 helped sell millions of new Xbox 360 consoles during the process.
There’s no doubt Microsoft will release the first game in the new Halo trilogy next year as Halo 4. Afterwards, I believe there is an excellent chance Halo 5 will be released for the Xbox 360 during the Holiday shopping season of 2014. But I believe 2015 will probably be when Microsoft launches the third Xbox, with a killer-app in the form of the first game in a new Gears of War trilogy. 2016 will be when the third Xbox sees a price drop and also sees the release of Halo 6 – the final game in the trilogy.
This is an excellent marketing strategy and keeps a steady stream of killer-app games coming to gamers! There’s no doubt the third Xbox will instantly establish itself as a successful brand, especially when you consider other killer-app games such as Forza Motorsport, Perfect Dark, and Fable will also see release during that time period. Gamers who own dozens of Xbox Live Arcade games and Xbox Live Indie games will automatically be on board the third Xbox. The same can be said for the millions of gamers who take Xbox Achievements very seriously (including me)!
What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you think Microsoft will release all three games in the next Halo trilogy for the Xbox 360? Or do you think Microsoft will release only one or two games in the new Halo trilogy for the Xbox 360, using the sequel(s) as a killer-app form of bait for the third Xbox? I believe my industry insider sources are correct – history will repeat itself.