As we have known for quite some time now, Halo Waypoint (HW) is going to be the one-stop destination for all things Halo on Xbox Live. According to IGN, HW “seeks to bring together the entire Halo universe in one place and provide a sort of string that ties each game together. Included will be an assortment of screenshots and videos — some official and some fan-made – a career system that links the achievements for all Halo games together, and the latest in Halo news.”
HW creative director Jason Pace on the acheivement system and how it differentiates from Xbox Live acheivements: “The career milestones are a little different from achievements. As you earn new [Halo] achievements… you will level up your career milestone. There will be 40 milestones, or levels, available at launch. With 3950 possible achievement points to unlock through three Halo titles on Xbox 360, there are plenty of ways to reach that level cap. It will take about 60% of the total achievement points unlocked to reach the highest milestone, a percentage that was chosen with care.”
Though HW’s focal point will be on the Xbox 360 console, Pace goes on to say that there are plans to bring aspects of it onto the web so players can view and share their achievements and other Halo-related material outside of the console realm. “We are working on a feature right now where we’ll allow users to upload cool stuff through Xbox.com/halo. Right now we are going to partner with Bungie on Bungie.net and we’ll do “Best of” community submissions. And that will generally be chosen by our community manager and then featured in weekly spotlight areas for community content on Waypoint on the Xbox.”
Pace summerizes the impact HW will have with Halo fans worldwide: “We’re definitely looking at expanding career mode and really making you feel like your entire Halo gaming history is encapsulated in a meaningful way and your identity expands across all of the Halo experiences you play.”
Halo Waypoint launches on November 5 on Xbox 360. It will initially be free for Xbox Live Silver and Gold users; on November 26 the service will only function for paying Xbox Live Gold subscribers.
The Halo universe is about to be expaned in two major ways, first by way of Halo Legends. Microsoft has teamed up with a bunch of renowned anime studios to create a collection of original short films that will bring the exciting story of Master Chief and the discovery of the mysterious Halo rings to life on the small screen. The short anime-style films will be produced by Microsoft’s 343 Industries and creative direction will come from anime pioneer Shinji Aramaki. Aramaki: “Halo and its characters are a very natural fit for anime.” If you are at all interested in the back story of the world of Halo and its characters, this will be a must see. All seven short films will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2010. However, a preview of select episodes debut on Xbox Live this fall.
Also announced is Halo Waypoint, a one-stop destination for all things Halo on Xbox Live. According to Microsoft, “It will inform fans of the latest Halo news and activities, and grant access to content ranging from podcasts, trailers and screenshots, to exclusive video footage you won’t find anywhere else. It also will provide a new challenge for Halo gamers with a career system and player rankings tied to both in-game and out-of-game accomplishments related to Halo.” Look out for this new portal on Xbox Live this fall. Halo fans, rejoice!