Rumour: MS Streaming Tech Puts Halo 4 On PC

By Craig Pearson on September 27th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Stream this
Each game rumour I hear gives me the urge to return to a previous life. To look at me, you wouldn’t have known that I was capable of such deception, but I led a dual existence for so long that I’m still not sure where he ends and I begin. He was someone else before we were joined, and he’s been someone else for the past few years, but I was probably him for the long – oh no, he’s waking up. Quick! Hide your secrets! Lock the gadget chest! You mustn’t let him – [squelchy sounds, ruffle of clothes, the room darkens]. Hello, Readers. The Spy is happy to make your acquaintance. Would you like to know about how Microsoft has Halo 4 running on a PC?

No. NO! I can’t go back. All those gadgets. All that sneaking. That’s not me, anymore. I’m Craig! And Craig damn well isn’t going to be talking in the third-per – oh. Too late. Focus on the rumour, Craig. Focus…

The rumour comes from the Verge. Their unnamed source claims that they recently demonstrated a new streaming service by showing off Windows and their new phones streaming Halo 4 from the cloud.

It makes sense. Microsoft have been gradually focusing on cloud services for the past few years, and the Xbone will have a large cloud component. The raw computing power will be in place. No need for a dedicated PC port when you can just stream things, eh? The demo was just a prototype to show the company what’s possible, but they apparently do have plans to stream games to the PC. I’d also imagine that the choice of game is more emblematic than anything. This is about streaming tech and not the game they chose to demonstrate it.

This is one of those things where I’m not sure what to think. On the one hand, it’s nice to think that Microsoft might attempt to re-engage with the PC and there might be an Xbone exclusive made available through it, but if this is the sole way they’ll do it then I’d be disappointed. If all we get is streamed games, then there’s no reason for MS to care about making stuff for the PC.
Still, there’s no point in getting angry at a rumour.

__________________

« | »

, .

59 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    Yes, I’m unsure of the point of doing this if the PC is just a wireless dongle for connecting an Xbone to a screen.

  2. strangeloup says:

    There’s also the key problem that Halo 4 wasn’t very good.

    • N'Al says:

      This, exactly.

      • aiusepsi says:

        And it made a total hash of the fiction. Picking the Didact to be the villain was the weirdest choice. It felt like they’d just put every possible character into the villain-hat and picked him out at random.

        • noodlecake says:

          But the cutscenes and story in Halo were always weak anyway. Surely bad story choices are part and parcel?

          • gunny1993 says:

            Yeah but they were weak in a highly amusing way and didn’t take themselves too seriously (Well that’s the impression I got).

            The most fun me and my roommate had with Halo 4 was devising ways that Sgt Johnson would have busted in and fucked all the bad guys’ shit up.

          • Baines says:

            Halo 4 is bad fanfic bad.

            Previous Halo games were Bungie, so even when the story was weak, it was “real”. Halo 4 is someone else taking over and writing their own story that doesn’t really follow the path or ideas of the previous games. It’s like Nintendo putting some new guy in charge of Super Mario Bros, who writes a story where Mario runs off with Daisy. It wouldn’t really contradict the Super Mario world, but it doesn’t really mesh with the world established by previous games, and would come off as some Mario/Daisy shipper getting his fanfic desires on.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Allow me to decrypt this…pun thread! Aha!

    • gunny1993 says:

      Hey, it’s not like they took the core aspects of what made the previous games so damn fun, removed them and instead shoved in a badly written romance adventure plot.

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      Aye, I’d rather they brought 3, or Reach to PC. Maybe ODST as that was the only Halo Campaign I enjoyed.

      • N'Al says:

        I quite enjoyed Reach’s too. It’s definitely a case of spin-offs > main series.

        • callmeclean says:

          Why is their all this dislike for Halo among PC gamers? I’m not specifically talking about you, but the original Halo trilogy was pretty excellent, especially the third. People whine about it being ‘generic’ but what other game allows you to take down two massive insect vehicles (scarabs) by boarding them however you like, getting in a flying vehicle dropping down and disabling them from on board. Halo 3 and Reach are the only good, what I call, physics sandbox games; they give you open ended maps with many vehicles and weapons and a variety of good ai enemies to battle. Tell me another game that gives you this. I always enjoyed the story too.

          It just saddens me a bit people dismissing them as generic, probably just because they are only on xbox. I would love nothing more than a good Halo 3 PC port, with dedicated servers + server browsing for custom games = awesomest thing ever. Halo 3 custom games were awesome, not many games give you big maps with big vehicles like the elephants to play game types like land pirates on or use as mobile forts in fun zombie game types.

          I didn’t like Halo 4 much, took away the sandbox element a lot and did in fact feel more generic.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            Why the dislike?

            Possibly because pc users have been persistantly ignored by MS software sudios despite being treated the worst (Windows restriction) and having to pay almost console prices for an OS that isn’t actually ours.

            It’s not Halo hate, per se, it’s MS hate.. and THAT is well desverved.

            Anyway.. Halo was shit… The only reason it was as big as it was is because it became the poster child for the fanboi wars.

          • callmeclean says:

            Exactly. I hate Microsoft like every sane person, but I don’t hate Halo just because Microsoft are bastards. And if you really think Halo is shit then I can’t change your mind. As I look back on the first it’s not as great as it seemed when I was a kid, but I think the series turned int something truly unique and great for 3, ODST and Reach.

            Calling them shit seems like your a hipster to me, you can call them not that great reasonably, but when you see all the games out there that have legitimately shitty design and that Halo did give a lot of people a very fun mp and sp experience and for good reason, you seem like someone who just calls everything shit that they didn’t personally like.

          • N'Al says:

            I know you said you didn’t specifically mean me, but just to set the context: I’ve played and completed all Halo FPS games on the 360 – bar Halo 2, which I completed on PC. I enjoyed them mostly, but definitely more for the gameplay, not for the stories (I’m not quite sure where you get the idea of Halo being the only sandbox FPS from, though? What about e.g. the Far Crys? Far Cries?)

            Ironically enough I enjoyed both Reach and ODST the most out of the lot, the two games that DO NOT feature the Master Chief (or the Flood, for that matter). Reach was the best distillation of all the Halo games, and ODST provided a very interesting (imo) take on the whole formula.

            Halo 3 was probably the best of the Master Chief games, but it did include the level Cortana, which is Bungie at their sadistic best (on Heroic difficulty, at least). What an annoying, annoying level.

            Halo 4 was just poor.

            [/streamofconsciousness]

          • Kentauroi says:

            I had a lot of fun with Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC, both the campaign and the multiplayer. The single player campaign had some great outdoor environments with it’s snow canyons, where it really felt like I had the freedom to ride around and explore the area. The maps and weapons were pretty interesting for the time. There was also a heavy focus on vehicles on many of the maps, which led to my favorite part which was dueling banshees and bombing runs. I also loved running into a stunts server which were focused on breaking the game by getting you into fenced off areas you’d normally never have access to.

            I didn’t like Halo 2 as much, and I didn’t even play 3, 4 or the other spinoffs, but Halo: Combat Evolved was a really fun game, especially when you factored in the modding community that existed.

  3. Inglourious Badger says:

    The Spy! So it was you all along! My masters will be pleased I’ve found you at last, mwuhhahahaha

  4. squirrel says:

    So this is basically MS’s version of Onlive?

    Then Xbox ONE’s always online DRM makes good sense.

  5. Vanderdecken says:

    It feels like Microsoft are actually waiting to see me cry before they’ll release Halo 3 for PC. Do you want verified tears, Redmond? DO YOU?!

    • RProxyOnly says:

      Tears over Halo?

      Hmmm….. :/

      • Fattsanta says:

        Seriously dude? Grow up, your just going to peoples comments and then ripping on Halo, the series was well received because it did something different, even if it was just setting, at first. The multi-player for each game was absolutely spectacular and no one can deny that. Flawless first person shooter mp with a decent match up system too which only improved with the series progress.

        Grow up.

  6. kwyjibo says:

    Streaming might work with autoaim, but the experience of playing latency sensitive games (such as shooters) through OnLive is fairly poor.

  7. NothingFunny says:

    Crappy game, and streaming action games doesnt work due to high latency. Major Meh.

  8. voidburn says:

    It’s as if Gabe saw all this coming years before it started happening. Goodbye hated windows partition, I won’t have to dual boot you anymore!

    • Artfunkel says:

      Sorry to disappoint, but I suspect that Microsoft’s streaming client will require Windows.

    • Meusli says:

      This rumour is probably started by MS as Valve are getting a lot of good press for their new OS, its a quick bone throw to make us stay windows based at a low cost. /Conspiracy hat off.

      Anyway who cares about Halo any more?

      • stampy says:

        exec 1: “Hey, it looks like steam is making it possible to play games on Windows via any sort of thin client people could imagine.”

        exec 2: “Hrm… why don’t we compete with that by making something similar, except locked into wondows and xboxes, with all the good parts removed? Also, lets put it in the cloud, so that it is useless for games with any sort of action?”

        exec 1: “Brilliant!”

        exec 2: “BRILLIANT!”

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      Some Microsoft suit has obviously been distracted, from eating from his truffle filled trough made of solid gold, to notice all the “Yay! SteamOS, no more Windows!”

  9. Lemming says:

    Ah, the spy! Good old PCG days.

  10. frightlever says:

    “On the one hand, it’s nice to think that Microsoft might attempt to re-engage with the PC”

    They might as well be engaging with your internet-ready fridge for all that “PC gaming” would matter to them. This is no more re-engaging with PC than it is engaging with Android, Windows Mobiles, Macs, iPads and any device capable of streaming highly compressed video.

  11. bit_crusherrr says:

    When I first saw “AN ANCIENT EVIL HAS AWAKENED” I expected it to be a joke not Halo 4…

  12. MeestaNob says:

    For the cynic in me, this all but CONFIRMS the rumours of Halo 1, 2, 3 on Steam – the logic being that Microsoft will feel this is some sort of ingenious taster of the Halo universe for PC gamers who will then HAVE to latch on to Microsoft’s latest service if they want to ‘continue the fight’.

    Except by the end of 3 we’ll all be well and truly over Halo again.

    I dunno, whatever.

    • Stardreamer says:

      Please don’t give them ideas. I think we’re all quite happy that Microsoft continue to ignore PC gamers, to prevent anything further being taken away from us.

  13. Phantom_Renegade says:

    If this means that, with a live sub we can just buy the games and skip having a console all together, I’m on board. If I still have to buy the console, then why would I want this in the first place? So it’s either pretty cool, or completely redundant.

  14. Nurdell says:

    Time to stand on heads, people – a console is streaming to PC.

  15. luieburger says:

    Why would I want to stream Halo to my PC when I can play Half Life 3 naively on SteamOS? Will MS be supporting SteamOS? They better be, because that’s where I’ll be.

    This is rather ragged olive branch response after the way Halo and MS has treated PC gamers…

  16. Loyal_Viggo says:

    Just give me Halo 4 on pc and I’m golden.

    I don’t care what it takes, just do it.

  17. Bull0 says:

    Give in, Craig. I’d love for The Spy to become a regular thing on RPS. It’d be a serious shot in the arm

  18. malkav11 says:

    If ’twere true, this would basically be the opposite of Microsoft reengaging with PC. This would be Microsoft saying, “Yeah, no, if you want to play these games YOU WILL BUY THEM FOR XBONE MWAHAHAHAHAHA.” and quite probably never performing or indeed authorizing another PC release again.

  19. Moraven says:

    Sony has already long planned to use Gaikai to stream PS3 games to PS4. I wonder if they will port that service to Windows (doubtful, but why not. Sell access to older games to people who never wanted to bother with a PS3, but will happily play the exclusives).

  20. airmikee99 says:

    So in order to play Halo 4 on my PC, I’d have to buy Halo 4 at $30, and an Xbox 360 at $180, for a total of $210.

    Microsoft figured out how to make Planetary Annihilation look cheap in comparison.

  21. RProxyOnly says:

    Do pc users actually give a toss about Halo?

    People, for god’s sakes don’t get caught up in the hype.. If MS actually gave a shit about our market they wouldn’t have ignored us all this time, and now that they (barely) throw us a bone you all clamber over it like a long lost friend.

    Jesus.. have some self control.. or at the very least some self respect. Ignore this game, send a message to MS to treat PC users better THEN MAYBE you’ll support their releases.

    The lack of self control simply makes it easy for exploitation.

    Anyway, why the fuck is this being reported on Craig? It’s NOT a PC game, it’s streamed from the console which means you still need a console and have to buy the console (only) version.. it has nothing to do with the PC.. Slow news day? Is this the kind of ‘news’ we have to look forwards to? Reports on EVERY Xbone console release, simply because you can stream it?

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Sigh. You appear to have slipped down that slipperly slope that angry people do. Hooray for getting shouty and blamey!

      It’s streamed from the cloud not the console, so it has a relevance if that’s how MS plan on dealing with the PC.

  22. Mctittles says:

    Three words sum up why I’ll never get into streaming gaming for this limitation alone:

    Speed of Light

  23. MadTinkerer says:

    Question 1: Do you still need a controller?

    Question 2: Is it just this new “multimedia” thing called “streaming” which everyone will take for granted once it’s established, or is it something actually interesting/exciting?

    Question 3: Is Master Chief still a weakling with regenerating shields who can’t hold more than two weapons at a time?

    Question 4: If it’s streaming, doesn’t that mean precisely zero graphics options?

    Question 5: So we’re determined to skip over Halo 3 and ODST, huh.

    So many reasons why this news is probably irrelevant, especially in our glorious post-Minecraft, post-some-successful-Kickstarters, post-Ducktales-Remastered world.

  24. SuicideKing says:

    1) Why? On the PC, why?

    2) Port it, or #nosale

    3) Apparently the tech was just an early prototype, that was shown of on a Lumia 520 and another low power convertible-like thing.

    4) Spy vs Spy. Mad, i tell you.

  25. 2helix4u says:

    Halo 4 was easily the weakest Halo anyway (possibly tied with 2, actually no 2 had the elite stuff) they add a whole new alien race of teleporting metal gears, so a whole new collection of weapons? Oh my! I hope you didn’t want anything interesting. Heres the laser assault rifle, laser shotgun, laser smg, laser sniper rifle! What a great way to add CoD weapons to halo, just turn the bullets into yellow light!

    Also the story is incredibly piss-poor. At one point Lord Voldemort bursts out of a giant space egg talking about prophecies while the space-princess from Assassin’s creed cries out in terror.
    OH and also Cortana is now a sexy-but-vulnerable Ellen Page who is slowly going lady-mad from a new retcon and must be turned into a real girl (I didn’t finish it, but the story was telegraphing this direction like crazy “Chief! I will destroy you by turning you into an AI, I do hope nobody reverses the process to turn an AI into a person! oh and did you know Cortana is half human? yeah fuck knows, right?”).

    Of course it got 10s and 9s all over the place because it has Halo in its name. Same reason GTAV gets a 10 just for showing up.

  26. The Random One says:

    I played games just fine on OnLive, and I assume their infrastructure’s much worse than Microsoft’s.

  27. ocelot113 says:

    … but can it play my Steam Library? Hmmm, +250 Steam library, or Halo 4. Too little too late MS. You are boned on the PC end and should frankly leave and let Linux SteamOS do it’s thing. Sadly, I am ready to ditch my 250 games to use a non-Microsoft associated OS.

  28. mygaffer says:

    Game streaming sucks. Low resolution and high input lag, it might fine for a little casual gaming but I wouldn’t want to have to do it all the time.

  29. stupid_mcgee says:

    I’m sure the promotion of Halo 4 for this service will bode as well as using Halo2 did for GFWL.