After over 11 years, a retail Halo FPS game may finally be on its way to Windows.
A weekend update to Amazon’s listing for Halo 5: Guardians included an enticing, and clearly intentional, change to its box art: a new “Xbox One console exclusive” label. The phrase appears not once, not twice, but thrice via cleanly rendered angles of a physical box, and it replaces the original 2015 box’s “only on Xbox One” descriptor.
Microsoft’s “Xbox Play Anywhere” initiative formally launched in late 2016 with the third-person platformer ReCore. The program has since included every first-party Microsoft game on Xbox, allowing those games to work either on any Xbox One system or any Windows 10 PC. (By arriving one year earlier, Halo 5 missed the Play Anywhere cut.) Recent games in the program, including this year’s State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves, feature the same “console exclusive” tag on their Xbox One boxes and also run on Windows 10.
Microsoft reps did not immediately reply to our questions about this updated box.
Up until now, Halo faithful have had a few less-than-ideal options to play the game’s first-person offerings on Windows PCs. Halo 5‘s “Forge” standalone mode has a free, official Windows 10 version, and it includes support for multiplayer combat on custom Halo 5 maps—but this requires jumping through some substantial hoops, including fully manual matchmaking. (That means you’ll need to find a Discord server and exchange Xbox “gamertags” that way.) There’s also a fan-patched version of the Russia-only 2015 release Halo Online, which Microsoft has decried (yet also left somewhat untouched).
Neither of those includes a “campaign” mode, however. For that on PC, you’ll have to rewind to 2007’s Windows Vista port of Halo 2, handled by then-upstart PC game developer and port specialist Gearbox Entertainment.