Microsoft has played coy with an official title for the first Halo game on Xbox One with many (including us) assuming that it would be Halo 5. However, a fresh rumor emerged Wednesday that may explain why 343 Industries and Microsoft haven't outright said the name of the Halo title to be released.
A verified NeoGAF member named "ntkrnl" claims that Halo 2 Anniversary Edition will be released Nov. 11, 2014 for the Xbox One with extras including Halo 5 beta access and a "real time show" similar to Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. The game is being worked on by Certain Affinity and Saber, the same studios that developed Halo CEA, and will supposedly run in 1080p.
That may leave you asking if that means that Halo 5 would then be released in 2015 and the answer would be yes.
Halo 2 Anniversary rumors have been shot down several times since Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary was first announced. However, NeoGAF is notoriously famous for requiring members who claim insider information to verify their identity or sources or be banned from the closed forum. In the case of "ntkrnl," he passed the website's verification process and has been allowed to continue to post.
An Xbox News Wire post at the beginning of January announced a slate of games coming to the Xbox One later this year but mysteriously did not include Halo. Microsoft PR Manager Rob Semsey responded by saying, "Xbox Wire today mentioned a few 2014 titles; Halo on Xbox One not listed due to official name of the next title not announced yet."
"Rest assured your next Halo journey WILL begin in 2014. #staycalm," he concluded.
343 Industries reportedly began work on Halo 5 prior to the release Halo 4 but it is entirely plausible that the studio may need an extra year to complete the leap from the Xbox 360 to Xbox One and get fans excited about the franchise again following some disappointment with Halo 4. An Xbox One release of Halo 2 Anniversary could easily serve as a bridge to hold fans over.
We've contacted Microsoft for comment on this rumor.
You can follow Scott via Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed or email alerts for all the latest game news and deals as well as the weekly Furious Fourcast podcast/videocast. All game news on Examiner can be followed at the Game On Facebook page and Twitter feed.