April 18, 2019 Halo Reach’s first public PC tests might be delayed because of the difficulties developing for the platform.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is heading to PC this year, but its first tests could be delayed. In a lengthy statement released last night, developer 343 Industries’ community director Brian Jarrard says that the game’s testing process may not match up with a schedule he outlined earlier this month.
At the beginning of April, Jarrard said that “if things go according to plan, [testing for Halo Reach] should begin this month.” In last night’s statement, he adjusted expectations on that front, saying that “I’m still optimistic this will be the case but it’s also possible those plans may not fully land as we initially hoped.”
It seems like Jarrard is keen to not actually use the word ‘delayed’, as the team is still unsure whether or not it’ll be able to hit that initial deadline. This is, says Jarrard, a by-product of 343’s desire to be up-front during the development process – “plans could end up changing slightly or dramatically […] we just need to all be mindful that talking about stuff early means that there’s always risks of changes.”
For the most part, it sounds like things are going well, and I’d stress that it’s still possible for flights (tests of the game available to members of the Halo Insider program) to begin this month. Jarrard says that there have been “a few small private external flights of Reach on Xbox One,” and that “I have Reach MCC running on the Scorpio dev kit at my desk right now.”
There are a lot of reasons why development of the flight kits has been held up, but the tl;dr seems to be that “PC is considerably more complicated and requires a lot more work” than consoles. Keyboard and mouse support is still being worked on, and UI and data processing is proving complicated.
Again, it’s still possible that testing begins some time this month, but an update blog set to release next week will likely give some greater insight. Before public testing begins, 343 will also be showcasing their work on Reach in a stream, so we’ll get a closer look then.
We don’t have a release for the rest of the Master Chief Collection’s PC release – all we know for now is that it’ll be “ready when it’s ready,” and that these flights will be your first chance to play early. Until then, I guess we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed for an April release.