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343 Industries confirms Halo Infinite gameplay demo was on an older build

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Halo developer 343 Industries has confirmed that the Halo Infinite gameplay demo was an older build.
  • Specifically, the build was from "several weeks ago."
  • 343 Industries also stated that multiple graphics elements were still being worked on, and that feedback has given them new considerations.

Halo developer 343 Industries has published a blog post that, among other things, confirms that the Halo Infinite gameplay demo shown off during the Xbox Series X July event was using an older build. Specifically, 343 Industries stated that it was from a "work-in-progress several weeks old." 343 went on to say that a variety of graphical systems are still being worked on prior to the game's full release.

Halo Infinite

Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

This news was in direct response to the concerns over Halo Infinite's visuals, which many thought looked flat and lacking in detail. 343 also noted that this feedback "brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess." Hopefully by the time Halo Infinite comes out, things will look more visually impressive than they did during the Xbox Series X show.

Halo Infinite is expected to launch on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PCs for $60 in the Holiday 2020 season. For more on the gameplay demo, make sure you don't miss our article on things we liked and disliked about it as well as some of the questions we have for the game after watching it.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

35 Comments
  • A build from a few weeks prior is not much...
  • Agreed. Disgusting excuse for poor performance.
  • Disgusting? The gameplay was pretty good, it's just the graphics were not exactly next-gen. If they can "shine" it up a bit before release, I'd be pretty happy. To me, the bigger issue would be if it was super-polished graphically, but the gameplay was garbage. Whatchathink?
  • Disgusting? You mean the global pandemic that has shaken up the industry and has everyone working from home? That's a disgusting excuse for poor performance? These devs are probably crunching their ******* nutsacks off to get this ready for launch and could give two ***** about a gameplay demo when they've got an actual game to finish. Your head is so far up your own arse I shouldn't be surprised by the **** your regurgitating.
  • You evidently have no idea how software development works.
    "Builds" will be checked in by the Devs multiple times a day when their particular bits of code have been finished.
    Then the testers take over, testing these "Builds" to see what was fixed, and what was not, and what was broken by that build.
    In games it's the GAMEPLAY that gets done first, and tweaked first. This "Build" was one of the GAMEPLAY builds, that was finalizing the GAMEPLAY code.
    The LAST thing you polish in a game is the Eye-Candy. That comes after you have baked-in all the gameplay code, both single-player and multi-player, which frequently run in parallel development (which is why they sometimes have vastly different Eye-Candy.)
    They have MONTHS until they reach the Gold-Build, and then start immediately updating/patching/expanding on THAT.
    Microsoft needed something to show, so 343 gave them a STABLE, Gameplay Build as a demo-loop that had "good-enough" graphics. They have freely admitted that.
    I have no worries about how the game will look, heck, 343 has ALREADY stated the the full Series-X "enhancements" (ray-tracing, anti-aliasing, etc.) won't be in the first retail product. That will ship AFTER Series X launches, and will be automatically updated via Smart Delivery to all Series-X owners FOR FREE.
    What we saw was a "Beta" build, with many, MANY more iterations to go before launch. Be Patient (I know, it's the Internet ok?) It will get better.
  • Cut the BS, gameplay Demos this late look almost exactly the same as the retail version. Sony didn't have any problems showcasing Horizon amd Ratchet's visuals even though both games are launching in 1 year, hell Ghost of Tsushima and TLOU2 demos made over 2 years ago look very similar to the retail release with mostly changes is the art style while maintaining the same graphical quality. Halo Infinite is clearly a Xbox One game (and not a good looking one at that) thay will be ported to the Series X with 4K60fps and a few other improvements, that is why it's not impressive.
  • Actually not really true. If you go back to 2015 when the beta for Halo 5 hit 5 months before release, the final version was alot better. So much so there is a ton of gifs and pics on the internet showing the difference 5 months after the beta.
  • I just checked and they were artistic changes, not graphical changes. For what I could gather these changes were in response to player feedback.
  • Unfortunately you can't post pics here. But the changes were massive to textures. Whole textures missing entirely from characters and scenery in the beta. And the lighting was very cheap in the beta. Had a real washed out look. It's pretty common knowledge how much it improved within the community that played the beta.
  • I've seen pics and videos, it's all purely artistic to make the game more suited for competitive play, if you check the comments in YouTube videos comparing both, the vast majority say that it's worse, I honestly agree that it is more visually appealing, but I know that it wasn't a downgrade and instead it was changes to make the game more "readable".
  • It's not artistic. Not remotely. Entire pieces missing from the armour, scenery etc. The side by side pics are night and day. This is common knowledge and has been for 5 years.
  • I've seen the comparations and it's not hard to find them, every difference is clearly artistic to make the game more competitive friendly, most even found that those differences made the game appear worse.
    It did get a resolution bump from 720p to dynamic 1080p, performance jumps are common though and this isn't the topic. We can keep talking in circles, but for me it's clear.
  • I'm not sure where your reading the info. But as a member of the Halo forums I can confirm players noticed it improve alot in the final version. Higher res textures, scenery missing some textures entirely in the beta. Even grenade explosions were vastly improved. But OK yes, there is no point in carrying on I guess. I'm sure Halo will be fine. It's an Xbox one designed game from 2015. We know Ray Tracing is coming after Series X launches. IMO they have from day 1 in 2015 concentrated on making this 60fps on Xbox One. While Series X specs weren't probably confirmed till 2019. 4 years into development of the game. Essentially it will be a patched series X version at launch. With more next Gen graphical features added as they optimize it for the next Gen system. I have 0 worries about the game. It will review well, play great and no doubt look great.
  • It would be bad even if it was 1 year old, games barely change in graphics in only 1 year, Sony showed Horizon and Ratchet and they both clearly looked like next gen games even though they are only launching them next year.
  • They should just stop talking about this.
  • Lots of rumors and what not swirling around. Sounds like a lot of issues within 343 and this game has been in development hell. This, combined with the footage they showed to showcase Series X, makes me thankful it will be available on Gamepass because I would not be buying it at launch.
  • Why make any decision now? Just wait until it comes out and see the final product to make your decision.
  • @Oopsiezz
    But isn't that (available on gamepass) a problem too. I mean when SoT or Crackdown 3 launched, many people who damaged controlled these games said, "its free on gamepass so no problem".
    Having games on game pass doesn't mean that quality of the games shouldn't matter anymore.
    I've said that for years about game pass. The priority of some of these games would be just push or rush it through to game pass because the priority is game pass not the games themselves...
    I have said it in the pass. For me, Game pass will probably bring about a drop in game quality and in more services instead of games, where studios will just look how yo get more money from microtransactions.
  • Mortal Kombat, soul Calibur, The walking Dead franchise, Yakuza, Grounded, Ori franchise, gears of war franchise, Forza, Streets of Rage, final fantasy, NBA 2K, Grand theft Auto v, Red Dead redemption 2, kingdom hearts, the Master Chief collection, Halo 5, Minecraft, the outer worlds, metro franchise, etc, etc. There are tons of quality games on game pass and in rotation to choose from. And it's only going to get better as time goes on. Low quality games are the least of our worries 😉. The only inconvenience for me about game pass is actually downloading the games. I'll be glad when they implement xcloud so that you can actually play the games while they are downloading.
  • Sea Of Thieves follows the MMO formula. So was always going to be added to for years. Same as Minecraft is totally different to what it was when it released. So much so Sea Of Thieves has a big following now. Regularly in the top 5 selling games for steam every month. And has passed 15 million players. And won PC Gamers best ongoing game of 2019. Beating Destiny, The Division and every other onlije progressive gamer. Sea Of Thieves is considered a huge success. And continues to grow and grow its user base. So not a great example there. https://www.pcgamer.com/best-ongoing-game-2019-sea-of-thieves/#:~:text=P....
  • "Regularly in the top 5 selling games for steam every month."
    LOL
    You're not a great example, with all your lying and fanboyism.. lol
  • Heads should still roll!
  • The blog post is actually very informative, I just read through all of it. Thanks for posting this.
    Sounds to me they seem very much in control and made very deliberate decisions. Nothing 'confused' as many seem to claim. Looking forward to Infinite, I think it will be a solid entry, gameplay looks fun and tight!
  • This is why they don't want to show us anything early. People nit pick everything to death and ruin the experience. They were just showing us a little piece of something that it's nowhere near finished because everyone wanted to see something. Now everyone is treating what they showed us like it is the finished product and ruining it. Me personally, thought it was awesome, but I also viewed it as a work in progress. I never develop an opinion without having all the info, and I won't have all of the info until it has been released, and either I read reviews of people who have played it or play it myself or both. I bet all of the people that are complaining are the same people that complain when a game is taking a long time to be released because they are making sure it is finished before they release it, yet at the same time complain when a game releases in an unfinished condition because it was rushed.
  • I have only 2 issues with this gameplay demo:
    1. Why show this demo in this state ? Does Microsoft force them to do so ?
    2. Why not show it on the appropriate hardware aka XBox Series X hardware or at least dev kit ?
  • It is not the MARSOC forced anyone to show anyting it's the fact that the fans demanded gameplay and what did fans get gameplay the graphics just weren't there yet but they will be.
  • That is for the point 1, what about the point 2 which applied to anything that they have shown at the Showcase ?
  • Honestly, the graphics weren't that bad. I am worried they'll go the other way and make it TOO contrasty/punchy.
    I've seen some people online post "fixed" screenshots which just are oversaturated and with contrast dialed too high. Flat is GREAT, that's why we all are getting HDR TVs... the more dynamic range something has, the less contrasty it looks.
    That said, there are some issues around textures and pop in that require fixing, that 343 need to sort out asap. But the actual graphics engine still looks stunning, and I hope they keep it.
  • I actually thought it looked alright, not mind blowing but then we dont yet know the scope of the game. I'm sure once its finished itll have the hdr, ray tracing and velocity architecture with sort out the pop up. Let's be honest if you are fighting enemies you arent focussing on something in the distance anyway.
  • I'm still absolutely baffled the box art designer and quality check did not catch that the beam emitter at Chief's shoulder should be visable based of its' projector...
  • People are going to look stupid when this game comes out and it's fine. Content creation and YouTube culture ruin gaming.
  • Strike 1: poor demo performance
    Strike 2: ray tracing coming after launch
    Strike 3: demo on PC not Series X
    Strike 4: no demo / flights / beta for broad community feedback They NEED to delay campaign. If not Halo Infinite will be compared to Halo 5 (or really any 343 Halo game) with the caveat "at least it's free on game pass". If they delay then the headline will be. Game delayed due to fan feedback, 343 plans to sonic the hedgehog the whole campaign to improve visuals/performance. 343/Microsoft... It's up to you
  • If they acknowledge this is an older build and people are complaining about it, then they should re-release the 8min gameplay from a more up to date build.
  • There's 2 things of common sense. 1stly, this isn't 343 first game. We know they are a capable developer that provide great visuals at high framerates. Halo 5 beta looked significantly worse than the final release. And that was 5 months before release. 2nd, it started in 2015 as an Xbox One title. It's 100% obvious they designed this game first around Xbox One. And will keep updating the game long after release with new graphical features for the Series X. If you want to see next Gen take a look at Flight Simulator. Digital Foundry did a great video. It absolutely blows everything else we have seen clear out the water. It's the first real true next Gen game. With tons of next Gen graphical features. And it's confirmed coming to Series X. How it ran on an 2080TI is fantastic to see. Cause we know from The Coalition and Gears 5 Series X is more capable than a 2080TI. So in terms of MS Studios and games pushing the limits, MS is already miles ahead with Flight Simulator. It's the most photorealistic game by a country mile. https://youtu.be/AEkNQVWkgpc Halo will be fine. It will look and play great when it's released. And will only get better and better over the 10 year plan for the game.
  • As long as gameplay is good, I care less about the graphics. If graphics truly mattered that much, many people would have praised Anthem; a game I love.