Gamers are skeptical about preordering Halo Infinite, but with Xbox Game Pass they don't need to

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

What you need to know

  • We ran a poll asking people about their Halo Infinite preorder plans.
  • The majority of readers responded that they won't be preordering the game.
  • Game Pass was cited as a popular reason not to preorder.

Even though the idea of preordering games has become somewhat antiquated now that digital copies have risen to prominence and shortage supplies are a nonissue, some people like putting money down in advance. One may expect Halo to be the top of the list when it comes to franchises people preorder just to preorder, given its widespread popularity. And yet, many Windows Central readers have stated they're not too keen on giving cash early for Infinite.

In a poll we ran Saturday, we asked readers if they'd preorder the upcoming Halo game. Out of 296 votes, only 80 were for the "I've already preordered" or "I plan to preorder" options, meaning over two-thirds of respondents had no intention of locking in a reservation for the game. That's largely because of Game Pass, which 46.28% (137 votes) of people said would be their method of playing Infinite.

Many people in the comments brought up Game Pass as well. The only commenter who definitively said they're preordering just the game was doing so to secure the Steelbook version. Another commenter mentioned they'd inadvertently preordered the game via their efforts to procure the limited edition Halo-themed Xbox Series X.

What are your opinions on this news? Do you feel the best Xbox Game Pass games render the preorder process obsolete now that you don't have to invest money in any one specific title? And for those who want to preorder Halo Infinite, is there a reason you're going to, outside of Steelbooks, or ending up with the game as an unintended consequence of buying a Halo-themed console?

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • Pre-orders just simply don't make sense for games that can be downloaded digitally. There is no physical stock to "sell out". I also think that many people have been burned by preordering games that were released unfinished. I seem to recall the Halo MCC requiring a 20GB day one patch. I think I'll wait until the bugs are worked out, thanks.
  • There are definitely a number of people who will wait to hear about other users' experiences and for any show-stopping bugs to be fixed. There would still be plenty of people who would buy the game day 1 and take the risk of it being unplayable though, and still not pre-order. As you say, outside of limited editions, there just isn't really anything to be gained by pre-ordering. I guess that preloading on Xbox might be something worthwhile for the really dedicated, who want to get it the very first second they can. Maybe some are worried that the most popular games may have problems in the ordering process - didn't that happen to Cyberpunk 2077?
  • Well said. Pre-orders basically make game companies take their eye off the ball. If you have already made bank, you probably won't work as hard or think of as many new and innovative ideas. Pre orders made sense back in the days of disks and less supply but with downloads, you can get the game on day 1 and refund it hours later if it plays terribly.
  • Lots of reasons to not pre-order so far. There isn't an exciting Collector's Edition to justify skipping a digital purchase. Microsoft has ACTIVELY Convinced people to get away from pre-orders through Game Pass (though a good CE might give people, like myself, a willingness to double dip). The console is sold out everywhere, if you're willing to buy it (a boat I'm sadly in). Multiplayer is free-to-play, so you're just paying for the campaign and Forge (the former being unfinished at launch and the latter being unavailable for several months). As much backlash as we've seen 343 get for this game, much of it deserved, I don't think these poll results are greatly changed from what most were going to do anyway. It would be nice for CE pre-orders to come with a way to pre-load the game, though. As was said above, pre-orders make less sense in a digital world. Digital means pre-loading, while pre-ordering physical editions means waiting numerous hours at launch. That's why pre-orders these days seem to lean on minimally interesting skins and other "goodies" to coax people into making an inferior purchasing decision. Pre-order incentives are worse than ever, so pre-orders are down.
  • A better way to name this article is a majority of windows central readers don't pre-order 99.9% of games.
  • News at 10:00pm, Xbox users are already GamePass ultimate users and don't need to pre-order anything because it will be downloaded and ready to go by launch time. Useless Article AGAIN
  • Yep, That part
  • Umm except not all xbox users are on game pass.
  • Gonna have to disagree there, real0395. Apparently blahism has Microsoft's internal Game Pass figures and knows, matter of factly, that everyone with an interest in Xbox games is already on Game Pass. Can't argue with a data-based, well-sourced comment like that.
  • Don't need the numbers, it's just the reality that most people will get Halo through game pass and won't think twice about pre-ordering. Windows Central writers writing as if gamepass is the exception to the norm is absurd. Pre-ordering is a joke in the digital download age.
  • Sure, but I think those most likely to participate in this poll are likely to be somewhat diehard in the Microsoft ecosystem. I'd bet a greater percentage of WC readers have Game Pass than the general Xbox population. Also, note that this is a poll of fewer than 300 people. It's a sample that has next to no scientific significance, really.
  • ok... then they don't matter. They're not xbox users, they're just halo gamers and they will buy an xbox and buy halo without regard to what any of us say... this whole debate about pre-ordering is just drama for the sake of drama.
  • Flight Sim was supposed to be pre-installed and ready to go on day 1 and look at that fiasco with the day 1 patch that no one could download due to the servers falling over. Which made the pre-install an utter nonsense and waste of time.
  • Already pre-installed on both my Series X and One X...
  • Reason not to... Cyperpunk 2077. Game didn't match the hype. Just wait a couple of weeks and play when you are ready
  • Yeah, who cares if a game is trash and released half done, it's on Game Pass.
  • Seeing as they have already said the game will be shipping incomplete in order to make a pre-Christmas release, why would you buy something that isn't ready? I'll have access via GamePass but I stopped caring about Halo a long time ago so doubt I'll even bother until sometime next year when the game is actually ready.