Microsoft is devoted to making Halo Infinite esports activities open to players everywhere. To make this happen, they have announced the much-anticipated title with have cross-play and cross-input support.
This information comes to us courtesy of a blog post from developer 343 Industries. In it, they revealed that “Halo Infinite esports will be cross play for all online tournaments.” To elaborate on this, they pointed out the possibilities for linking players together for these tournaments. “Have a beefy PC rig? Great, you’re ready to compete! Have a last gen console? All good, you’re ready as well! Just got your hands on a sweet new Xbox Series X? Nice, you’re all set!”
Aside from having a bigger base of competitive players, the goal here is to make sure players could compete in Halo Infinite without having to sink a small fortune into a new system or other major upgrades. As 343’s Tashi says in the blog, “We envisioned was an ecosystem where players had the choice. Where if they had one platform, they weren’t forced to get the other if they wanted to compete. Where Halo Infinite was suddenly a game they had the choice to play when it wasn’t in the past because of the platform they had already decided to invest in.”
This only applies to online tournaments, though. Physical LAN tournaments will have players compete in an open bracket on an Xbox Series X and those players competing from the pool play on the main stage must use a PC. Those who rise from the bracket to the pool will have to transition from console to PC.
In a way, this represents the transitive state Microsoft and 343 are currently in. Tashi acknowledges that for esports players, PC has certainly become “the standard.” But when it comes to organizing in-person tournaments, “there are significantly fewer variables” with consoles than fancy PC rigs. Therefore, having both consoles and PCs at these tournaments makes them a little easier to organize and manage.
Still, 343 is aware that expecting players to change how they play mid-tournament is a bit “unorthodox.” To make that transition easier, players will have time to access the “warmup PCs” and get used to them. And PC players have the option of using the traditional mouse and keyboard combo or Xbox controllers, meaning that those who play exclusively on console will feel more at home playing on PC.
Time will tell how well players adapt to these changes. But one thing is certain: Halo Infinite’s esports events are going to bring franchise fans together like never before.