It's been four months since the release of 'Halo 4' and one of the biggest missing pieces of the Halo ecosystem was the File Share which was how players shared gametypes, maps, screenshots, and videos with one another in a convenient way. 343i said it wasn't quite ready in December but promised it would be out in early 2013. Last month the File Share was released for in-game only but as of yesterday Feb. 27, it is now available on the web, 343 Industries is also calling it the File Browser, which completes the long wait for Halo content sharing.
As you can imagine, the File Browser showcases each sharable item (screenshots, videos, etc.) in their own category and by clicking the category you can start searching for the "Halo 4" content of your choice by map, time uploaded, game variant, or by popularity. This is also where you can go to view your own personal File Share, highlighting up to 25 of your favorite Halo moments when someone views your page. Now when you go to your friends pages you will see a section for File Share and Recent Screenshots which will allow you to view all the files they have uploaded to Halo Waypoint.
The File Share may not be a game changing feature for 'Halo 4' but it was an inconvenience for players that want to share their epic Halo moments and for content generators like Achievement Hunter who make the web series Halo H.O.R.S.E (which since "Halo 4" released have done P.I.G due to the lack of File Share) which features Halo maps that are designed to challenge players in a unique way like launch a Warthog onto a platform or complete an obstacle course while riding a Mongoose. It also allows map and game creators to get more players to view and play their maps/games based on how many likes the variant gets. Before the File Share was released, it was very segmented and difficult to find game types and maps due to multiple websites hosting Forge content despite fans best efforts to bring it into one location. The File Share creates a central hub which gives more publicity and accessibility to the content and their creators.
If you are looking at the File Share and asking yourself why did it take so long to get this out? There hasn't been an official explanation from 343i regarding the exact details but a good place to start looking is in the backend system behind this feature. 343i re-designed everything for "Halo 4" and the File Share is no exception but unfortunately with a big overhaul comes a lot of development time and Microsoft/343i didn't want to hold up releasing a completed game because of a feature that can be released at a later date. While the players had to suffer for a few months, 343i had the time to get the system setup correctly and released with minimal bugs.
What does the File Share mean to you? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.