“Halo, one of the foundations on which Xbox has been built ...”
— Nancy Tellem
Well there we have it, the Xbox One. It appears that Microsoft took a leaf out of Apple's book with the nomenclature and came up with a name almost as original as "the new iPad"; but, as for the Xbox itself I'm actually really impressed. Yeah sure, the Xbox One looks like an over glorified cable box, but the sleek black design actually suits it, and with a dedicated Kinect clipon section we can finally dispense with the nimble fiddling required to place the current Kinect system. However, what came as the largest surprise for me wasn't the design of the Xbox and it's plethora of amazing new features, or Infinity Ward's ever inventive game design of including a brand new dog model but keeping everything else the same, instead it was the inclusion of Halo in the press event!
Hopefully the new Kinect will have a voice activated teabag option in Halo 5!
When I first saw Bonnie Ross walk onto the stage my heart jumped with anticipation of a Halo 5 sneak preview trailer, as we saw in E3 2011 with Halo 4; though I should probably have known better with her walking in just after the entertainment and TV introduction. Instead of a Halo 5 sneak peek, we were instead introduced to an Xbox One exclusive Halo live action TV series. That's right another Forward unto Dawn, but this time it's a TV series that can only be watched on Xbox One and it's being directed by THE Steven Spielberg. Exciting right? Well, not exactly. 343i has not got the best track record for creating stable canon story-lines which fit smoothly into the Halo universe, Halo: Legends and Forward Unto Dawn are just two examples.
Halo: Legends was a let down beyond comparison, so much so that it still hurts to think that it's considered official canon and so much so that I'd no doubt hit a word count block before I've listed all of the series' short-comings. As for Forward Unto Dawn, whilst the cinematic were amazing and it was great to see the Halo Universe finally brought to life in a realistic way which put the viewer there, it's canon slip ups were a let down. The great "Call me Masterchief" blunder was just one of them. So can we really trust 343i with yet another Halo series where it's likely going to be studded with poorly maintained canon?
Can he be trusted with our franchise after murdering Indiana Jones?
My other concern is the location and era the series would take place. The lead up to Halo 5 should be occupied by the second and third season of Spartan Ops (which according to Bs Angel, the 343i community manager, has yet to be made...), and turning any of the novels into a series seems redundant being as the majority of them have been heavily read by most Halo fans. The only viable option for the series would be to return to the Insurrection era and the foundation of the SPARTAN II project, or at the very most create an alternate POV character story-line like that of Noble Six and Halo: Reach. All of which is highly concerning, as any small canon mistake could lead to a conflict between already founded canon storylines.
Essentially, I'm eager to see if Spielberg can live up to his name and create a great film with more awesome CGI, whilst at the same time I'm terrified by the ramifications of giving 343i so much control over the Halo storyline when their previous history in the matter has not given us any confidence in the matter. What are your opinions on this new TV franchise, and the director chosen to lead it?