Halo Infinite demo showcased early build, Microsoft says visuals will 'get better and better'

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Halo Infinite is an upcoming first-person open-world shooter.
  • It's targeting 4K resolution, 60 frames per second, and ray tracing on Xbox Series X.
  • The gameplay reveal was criticized by some because it was an early build.
  • The visuals didn't represent what the Xbox Series X could accomplish.

Yesterday, Microsoft showcased Halo Infinite gameplay during its showcase. Many gamers criticized the visuals because it didn't feature ray-traced lighting or high-resolution textures, but now the company has confirmed that it was a work-in-progress build. The demo could even be six months old at this point.

Xbox's General Manager of Games Marketing, Aaron Greenberg, said the following on Inside Xbox. IGN compiled the main quote from the interview.

Listen, we're in the middle of a global pandemic. It's July, we're far from holiday. You're seeing a work-in-progress game. It's very hard to show the full power and graphical fidelity of what Xbox Series X will be able to deliver for you over a stream. Go back and look at it in 4K 60 FPS... I can tell you, because we see build check-ins every week, and they make progress week after week, so between now and Holiday it's just going to get better and better... was captured from a PC that is representative of the experience that players will have on Xbox Series X.

Halo Infinite will get ray tracing support after the Xbox Series X launches, and that should provide a major boost to the lighting on Xbox Series X. Holiday 2020 is still many months away and Greenberg promised that the visuals will get better. We'll have to see what changes are made once more footage is available to gamers.

Halo Infinite is an open-world first-person shooter that allows you to explore a massive ring. I can't remember the last time a first-person open-world shooter ran at 4K resolution, 60 frames per second, and was going to get ray tracing on a console. Despite what people may say about the work-in-progress visuals, the technical ambitions of the title are unprecedented, and we haven't seen anything like this from the competition.

While there has been some backlash, the like to dislike ratio on YouTube could be seen to indicate that most people are excited about it regardless. Currently, the footage has over 107,000 likes compared to only 16,000 dislikes.

Xbox Series X/S


Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • Well, once you take the PS fans out of the dislike count, that isn't actually that bad.
  • The gameplay on Twitter has 107,000 likes to 16,000 dislikes. I think it made a pretty good impression judging by those numbers.
  • Ya Sony sheep tend to discredit anything MS/XBOX related
  • Really dork when you place bid on power machine.
    Sony have a really good humor with the publiciy of Ghost of Tsushima as Game as Footage (Europe)
  • This gameplay footage was pretty disappointing. It did not live up to the quality of the footage and images shown of the Halo Infinite visuals shown as recent as a day before the event with the artwork used as the title screen on the embedded video for instance. With no other real, significant gameplay shown for other in-house games there is very little benchmark of exactly what the Xbox Series X is capable of - Halo was the only one shown with a H.U.D/user interface. Also, aside from trying to sell a console/platform, Microsoft also is trying to convince gamers that Halo is worth there time in a very competitive industry. Exactly what use is it showing us visuals that are (hopefully) not anywhere near "representative of the experience that players will have on Xbox Series X" in the single decent piece of XSX gameplay we have seen?
  • This is a lame excuse from Aaron. Why on earth would you demo a game with 6 months old build. A game as highly anticipated as halo infinite that is suppose to show case what the series x can do. Frankly I'm done listening to Aaron. He makes excuses after excuses. Time to get a new marketing manager. And if 343i screws up infinite then halo should be given to another studio like the coalition or the initiate or may bungie.
  • Could you imagine if in a few years they announced that bungie is making the next halo and all the OG devs were coming back to make it.
  • It's a bit different with open world games. During alpha phases they often run lower res textures among even some effects toned down to make sure the unoptimzed game is playable to test or for an audience. In a linear game its easier to get a certain section finalised closer to release quality because the game is already in sections by design. 343 have said Ray Tracing is coming to it but after launch. There is no denying Halo Infinite started development 4 years ago as an Xbox One title. It's caught its release right around a new hardware launch. So maybe Priorities have shifted to finishing the game on the One X state first and then started to add Series X improvements. Let's see how it's final visuals are when it releases.
  • He is the marketing guy. He'll say anything. This reminds me of 2013 how they used to do so much damage control...
  • I think they had to show Halo no matter what because people wanted to see Halo. That said, I think a lot of time was lost due to how Halo 5 was received. They decided to scrap their plans and go back to trying to recapture the magic of the original Halo. This Halo has been in production for so long because 343 was trying to figure out what they wanted to do. And now they're trying to play catch up. It's like writing your essay and then realizing that you need to start over with a new topic and then are always trying to catch up for lost time. Going to open world is a huge huge risk for the traditionally story-driven Halo series. What really worries me for Halo long term is they are saying that this is a platform now. That reeks of Destiny. does anyone remember Destiny campaigns? Of course not. They're just missions with no real story. I can't imagine Halo Infinite being the last Halo game and that it'll just be updated with new extensions. And the unfortunate thing about doing raytracing after the game is released is the reviews will be out and locked in time. In the future, people will search for "halo infinite review" and no mention of raytracing will be seen and no review of any future feature because articles remain there for all time. Like no one will remember how much Anthem improves (if it does improve) but will remember the reviews eviscerating it.
  • Here goes Aaron in damage control mode again, bro the game needs to enter Gold in 3 months, this is how the game will look. The build could even be 6 month old but games don't change dramatically even 2 years before launch. This looks like a Xbox One game first and foremost that got ported to the Series X and it isn't even close to be one of the best looking open world games with Horizon Zero Dawn from 2017 looking far better. The game could still be awesome but I think Microsoft should stop feeding the BS of "it takes full advantage of the Series X", just stop treating gamers like they are stupid.
  • I think most fans of the series were more interested in seeing the story and gameplay at this point. Every Halo has had good visuals, no reason to expect anything different with Infinite.
  • Honestly, I didn't think it looked that bad. Maybe it my was PC and stream quality What, but it looked good enough for me. What did everyone expect from Halo?
  • The main problem here for MS is that they have been hyping powers for YEARS now. And this was suppose to be THE game that takes advantage of the power. They said it themselves, this game is taking full advantage of the series X.
    And when we see the visuals and compare it to visuals of some of the CURRENT generation games there is an obvious lack in visual quality. People can see the comparison screenshot or videos.
    When I read that they are actually bringing Ray tracing AFTER the launch of the new console, I felt it was ridiculous.
    Some MS fanboy like Richard, will do their usual damage control and hype, but there are obvious problems or Greenberg wouldn't have done damage control here. Well at least he is getting paid to damage control, unlike fanboys. From this presentation, it looked like it's clear this was more to sell game pass than Series X. Almost nothing that they presented was showing off the console's power.
    This for me looked like Kinect 2.0 all over again. Making a piece of hardware, hardly making any games for it and killing it later. I wonder if MS are already thinking of game pass service as the only future for XB.
  • This is exactly that. The future of Xbox is first as a Gamepass service then Xcloud.
  • E3 2001:
    The first Halo game was shown running for the original Xbox that was launching that fall. Many gaming journalist weren't impressed because the game looked and performed roughly and they felt that it wouldn't be ready for primetime. A couple of weeks before the Xbox was released, Halo was shown running at a gaming event and all naysayers were silenced because it was running smooth as butter.... Halo infinite will be ready later this year. MS has always had a knack of initially shooting themselves in the foot and then redeeming themselves later.
  • Remember how the MCC launched and how Halo 5s multiplayer wasn't complete on release. Maybe looking back almost 20 years in this industry and with a completely different Studio working on the game isn't that good of an idea. Halo Infinite will probably run great but visually it won't impress. Why? Because it's originally created for the weak base Xbox One and you can clearly see it.
  • This is such a tired "beating-the-dead- horse" argument. Cross gen consoles games scale, just like PCs. Xbox one is not holding back the series X just like a less capable PC is not holding back a PC with newer hardware. MCC was a huge undertaking. They had to rework/optimize at least 3 already existing games and multiplayer. Halo 4 and Halo 5 gameplay and graphics turned out just fine so.........😉 Halo Infinite hasn't even been shown running on Series X yet. If Microsoft had made it clear that that was an old build running on PC, they wouldn't have gotten as much pushback over it. Nah, I take that back. Some people love to hate Microsoft regardless...... It'll be fine once it's shown running on Series X later.
  • If they said it was representative of the Xbox One X, that would have been fine.
    But all the pop-in when using the Warthog is not acceptable on a next gen console.
    I really hope they focus on that before the release.
    But other than that, it felt like Halo. Can't wait to follow MC story!
  • Ppl are so nitpicky, is it really so hard just to enjoy something? I'm just glad that we have some more Halo coming, a conclusion or continuation of the story and some new stuff... Me siento muy... EXCITED!