Last week, 343 Industries finally confirmed that Halo: The Master Chief Collection would be coming to PC on Windows 10 and Steam. At the Halo Invitational finals at SXSW, both Community Director Brian Jarrard and Studio Head Bonnie Ross took to the stage to reveal the game will be coming to the Halo Insider programme, as well as the potential for cross-platform play and Play Anywhere.
Halo Insider was a way for the franchise's fans to provide feedback on upcoming content for games, as well as taking part in early release versions of upcoming titles. At SXSW, Jarrard confirmed that the PC version of The Master Chief Collection will be coming to Halo Insider for players to test out the ports of the games before they are released to the general public. The release of the collection on PC will begin with Halo: Reach before the rest of the titles will arrive in chronological order. While a release window for Reach to join the collection was not revealed, with Jarrard only confirming that it would be "ready when it’s ready", he also confirmed that the first PC test (of Reach) would be "sooner than people realise", so it can't be far off. If you want to sign up to be an Insider, you can do so here.
As well as joining the Insider programme, the team discussed the possibility of cross-platform play and Play Anywhere for PC and Xbox gamers. Firstly, while the team wants to consider cross-play in the future if it's something the community wants to see, it won't be a feature in the game upon release. Jarrard stated:
I think people have asked a lot about cross-play. And I think there's two different discussions there. I should say on PC, you're going to get the same great experience regardless of which store you buy it from, right? [We] want players to have a choice there. Certainly, whether you pick it up on the Windows Store or Steam, you'll play together, that's not a problem.While PC and Xbox players won't be able to play together intitially, in a Q&A from earlier today, Jarrard confirmed that progression would be carried between the different versions of The Master Chief Collection:
The real question on people's mind is can I play Xbox against PC? And truth be told right now, we are really focused on making sure that we can bring these games to PC in the right way. But the team would love to hear feedback on this and as we get further down the road, it's something I think we're going to have to evaluate, and if it's something that the community wants and makes sense, I think the team wants to make it happen. But right now, we really need to focus on getting these PC products out the right way.
Within MCC, yes, your progress and progression will carry-over between the console and PC versions. All stats, achievements, Forged maps, and game variants will be shared between all of the games within MCC. Mid mission saves will be unique to each platform and cannot be shared.Finally, not only will there not be cross-play when the PC version of the game is released, there also won't be Xbox Play Anywhere. The Master Chief Collection was released before Play Anywhere existed, Ross confirmed that the team is trying to make sure there is "appreciation and recognition" for existing players:
Your Halo: Reach unlocks and progression from the original game on Xbox 360 will NOT carry over to MCC.
I think one of the questions we've gotten is will MCC PC support Xbox Play Anywhere. And first off I wanted to say, we so appreciate all the support we've had from Xbox One community with MCC, and we're obviously bringing Reach to MCC. And while MCC shipped before the XPA Play Anywhere, we are exploring ways to make sure we show our appreciation and recognition for the support we've had from the amazing fans on MCC. And we'll have more to announce once we get closer to launch.As soon as we hear more about that appreciation and recignition, or any other further details, we'll be sure to let you know.
We've got the full list of Halo: The Master Chief Collection achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
This game was featured in our Best Xbox One First-Person Shooters Available in 2019 article. Why not check it out to see what else made the cut?