Halo Infinite dev addresses graphics concerns, discusses new audio feature

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

What you need to know

  • 343 Industries Studio Head Chris Lee addressed concerns about Halo Infinite's graphics in an interview.
  • Lee commented that the game is a work-in-progress, and that improvements would be made before launch.
  • He also mentioned a new audio system that will deliver a sound experience unlike anything before.

During the Xbox Series X July event, 343 Industries showed off Halo Infinite gameplay for the first time. However, while the actual gameplay element of the showing impressed most people, Halo Infinite's graphics were criticized by many for looking underwhelming. In an interview with wccftech, 343 Industries Studio Head Chris Lee addressed these criticisms. Here's what he had to say:

I think for the response on the graphics, the thing I hope is that folks get a chance to check out our 4K streaming assets, I think that really lets our game show itself in full fidelity. We are definitely still very much in development, we have some polishing and tuning that the team is working on to really bring the full potential of our experience to our fans later this year in Halo Infinite. We definitely are excited about the ambition of the title, of this open expansive campaign and we'll make sure that it's polished and ready to go when fans get their hands on it this Holiday.The gameplay demo is a great example of how we're running on Xbox Series X, you'll be able to run at a solid 60 frames per second at up to 4K resolution. We're bringing the highest fidelity experience that we've ever created. We're able to do more than 10 times the processing power per pixel that we were able to do in Halo 5, which just allows us to create this experience that's unlike anything that we've had in Halo before. In Halo Infinite we've really harnessed a lot of advanced rendering techniques, but also the immense power of the Xbox Series X.

Halo Infinite

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

In addition to the discussion about graphics, Lee also opened up about Halo Infinite's music, as well as information about a new acoustic audio system. This system will dramatically improve the player's audio experience compared to earlier titles by making it more realistic and immersive.

Music is also incredibly important to Halo and to our fans, and I'm really excited that after Curtis Schweitzer, a composer that we talked about last year at E3, we got to announce our second composer that's joining Curtis, Gareth Coker. Both Gareth and Curtis have been doing an incredible job and throughout the demo today you've been able to experience some of the music that Gareth has worked on. We also upgraded our audio engine to create a new acoustic system and leverage a lot of extra processing power and streaming power with the Xbox Series X to be able to really surround the player in a much more realistic audio experience.

Overall, it sounds like Halo Infinite's visuals will be in a much better state at launch. This is good news, as the quality of the graphics at the gameplay show left a sour taste in many fans' mouths. Ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see.

Halo Infinite is expected to launch during the Holiday 2020 season for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PCs. If you're looking for some analysis, don't miss our article on 5 gameplay details you may have missed from the gameplay reveal.

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.

16 Comments
  • After reading alot of info on this game it sounds as though this Halo release will be the only 1 for the next 10 years. And both the game engine and any new story additions will be constantly updated to this game. Clearly 4 years ago this gane started development on Xbox One. It started to development even before the Xbox One X was on the market. I get the impression 343 have concentrated on making it run as flawlessly as possible on Xbox One base. And then began updating the game for Series X and high end PCs. Full Ray Tracing is being implemented for Series X just after launch. And Digital Foundry also did a deep dive look at the demo. Pointing out that 343 have opted for a full dynamic lighting system. No baked shadows at all. This is due to a full day and night cycle present in the game now. I have no doubt when it launches it will look fantastic on Xbox One. Hitting 60fps with open world and 50+ enemies onscreen in those huge Halo battles is a big achievement. This isn't a 30fps linear story gane with 6 to 8 enemies onscreen max. There is actually alot of cutting edge graphics features in Infinite again as Digital Foundry have confirmed. We will have to see what the fully optimized game looks like at launch. And then how that develops over its 10 year plan. 34e are already hinting at the main story arc being between 20 - 30 hours. As they have said it's campaign is bigger than Halo 4 and 5 put together. https://www.thesixthaxis.com/2020/07/23/halo-infinite-is-an-open-world-p...
  • Yes I agree. Although the graphics did not look 'next gen', it looks pretty good to me. I am totally bent on 60fps though. It's the only thing that will make me get the next gen console(s). If they do not play at 60fps, I'm going for a gaming PC. After I played Remedy's 'Control' at 60fps on PC, I am convinced 60fps is the way to go. Don't care about 4k as much, I can still accept 1440p, but 60fps is non-negotiable next gen imho.
  • No DF confirmed that they use the same techniques that almost all devs use for open-world games since 2013. Nothing here is cutting edge. The lighting is the big problem but they go for the buzzword 4K instead.
    This and the fact that the Xbox One is clearly holding the game back is a stupid decision probably forced onto them from Microsoft.
    And talking about huge battles with many NPCs. The Series X could do much more but it has to run on a weak Jaguar CPU of the Xbox One.
  • The game will have ray tracing that fixes the global illumination issues, but it's coming after launch. Honestly, I agree that 4K is mostly a buzzword. I hope that the version of the game on PC/XSX will have options for players to choose from. I'd rather play at HD with full LODs and more detail than sacrifice those things just for moar pixels. Pixels really aren't worth it if you have to sacrifice things for more of them.
  • 5 years of development, longest in the franchise's history, and they're openly admitting they won't finish the thing before launch. Ray Tracing won't be available, but also they weren't confident enough in a current build to present a game demo on stream? This was one of the least-satisfying presentations of a single game, between the lack of commentary on what the game does and how it played/looked. Usually, a dev has a "live" demo where they narrate the game and what you get. They couldn't give us that OR a quality demo. The whole thing looks like they're promising improvements that they're secretly HOPING they can get finished in time. They couldn't, after 5 years, even give us a firm release date.
  • We keep forgetting that 343 has not made a good Halo game. Not sure why we expected this time (even after 5 years and being privy to MS next gen plans) would be any different.
  • Yes, it's the longest in the franchise's history (maybe outside of the first game). It's also targeting a launch on the most systems in the franchise's history: Xbox One, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, *and* PC (with the myriad of possible configurations possible in that space). Until Halo 5, every main-series Halo game launched targeting a single console configuration with PC versions or One X updates coming later. I get that you're disappointed/upset, but get some perspective dude.
  • Heads should roll for what they showed thus far. This is a Main Title to which (supposedly) is the reason to purchase the console. They didn't entise any buyer!
  • There's no need for native 4K with today's upscaling techniques. You can't tell the difference between native 4K and 1440p upscaled to 4K with DLSS 2.0 in motion. They should utilise the power of the Series X differently. Give us better lighting (Raytracing?) and fewer pop-ins of objects. And fix the Brutes. The game would look way better. 4k is useless when the visuals disappoint..
  • All these excuses do not explain why this demo doesn't run on the Series X. Moreover if the Xbox Series X is so powerful and optimized than 4K/60 fps should not be an issue. Thus Microsoft should show the gameplay demo running on the Xbox Series X with much better results Just to prove their claims regarding their console. Or they should Just shut up.
  • Completely agree. As a matter of fact, that demo made me less interested in the series X which I have been very hyped for.
  • 4K 60fps isn't even an issue on the Xbox One X (at least for Halo and Forza Motorsport). They just weren't ready.
  • The series x will be out in November and so will the PS5 probably therefore people should shut up and wait and see the end result
  • Why should People shut up ? It is not us Who were claiming that the Xbox Series X is the most powerful console ever and that this so called power would be shown at the 23rd July show case. If they weren't ready they should have pushed back the gameplay demo and shut up until they are ready. What they did is clearly a lack of respect for Xbox games and a major blow to Xbox Series X promotion. Moreover the very fact that Microsoft, the so called champion of Cloud computing and which expect to be a champion of Cloud gaming , is unable to design an efficient virtual workplace for its developpers to Just release an up to date demo of its flagship game is worrying to say the least. I work from home since March and despites the fact that several of my developpers do the same we have no issue releasing up to date versions of even our most complex solutions in a reasonnable amount of time. Moreover the fact that Sony was able to release such great demo of their games and up to 10 with gameplay in the same conditions add some salt to the injury. Is Sony much better at developping games than Microsoft ? Is the PS5 better than the Series X. So Microsoft must Just shup up until they can back up their claims with demo running on Xbox Series X. Gamepass has a good value but i am personnaly not interested until they show more respect to gamers.
  • I think 343 wasn't ready to show the game but Microsoft forced them. 3 months is more than enough to polish the game and bring it to players expectations. I trust 343. Halo 5 beta was 720p and the final game shipped in 1080p.
    Here the game isn't even running on the Series X. I'm sure it will look even better.
  • No Halo 5 wasn't 1080p. It has a dynamic resolution on base Xbox One.