Halo 4 dev says Xbox 360 has a lot of life left in it

Halo 4 may seem like a swan song for the Xbox 360, but Frank O'Connor believes the console and the rest of its generation still has a lot of life and power left to tap into. GamesIndustry International spoke with O'Connor, Halo franchise development director at developer 343 Industries.

"I would actually strongly contest the fact that the Xbox 360 is at the end of its life cycle, this has already been one of the longest generations and there's a really good reason for it, which is that current consoles are incredibly flexible and still really powerful," O'Connor said when asked why the game wasn't saved for the next generation. Halo 4 looks good because "that machine has an awful lot of untapped power still."

O'Connor said current generation consoles are already widely distributed everywhere and are used for much more than just games. That means people are going to keep their systems for Netflix and other media content, and as long as the consoles are still there, people will want gaming experiences for them.

O'Connor also spoke about the design decision behind Halo 4's Spartan Ops downloadable co-op missions. He said many Halo players just tackle the single-player campaign or dive straight into the multiplayer; but by rewarding gamers for playing smaller-scale co-op missions with multiplayer unlocks, more might decide to cross over.

Spartan Ops' serialized format also presents a great opportunity for narrative control which is not feasible in 10-hour long campaigns, O'Connor said.

"In a movie I know it's going to last an hour and 40 minutes, as a director I can make you sad at the start, hopeful in the middle and joyously happy in the end, and you control that whole experience with music and timing … Spartan Ops gives us an opportunity to tell stories and control the pace and cadence of the narrative experience by making these little discrete chunks of story that are episodic, so just like a TV show."


  • Divine Paladin - October 5, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    Meanwhile, developers who have made many more games than 343 (a whopping 1) are saying that the consoles don't have much life left. I'm not sure who I believe. Given, Frank O'Connor worked on previous Halos, but I'm not sure I'll take his opinion over the mass opinions of developers.
  • zombi3grim - October 5, 2012 8:45 p.m. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games and creator of the Unreal Engine, which as you may know has also built a new one. If HE says there are still 6-8 years left in a console life cycle, since pretty much just about EVERY major game uses some iteration of Unreal, if you dont take 343 Industrys (which are made up of ex-bungie employees and other video game vets, its not their first game made, trust me) then you damn well better take this guys.
  • Divine Paladin - October 7, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    Unreal 3, yes, but Unreal 4 just came out. Let's face it, consoles won't be able to run Unreal 4, and now that it's out, I'm sure Sweeny will backtrack on his words and start saying that the next gen should just come already so that Epic can make money off of Unreal 4. However, you do make a point. I've seen most developers on one side of the fence, but a few trusted ones have opted toward the less-beaten trail.
  • zombi3grim - October 7, 2012 3:46 p.m.

    Um, he JUST said that. Look at the date. Why would he say that if consoles couldnt run his new engine? The Wii U will be able to run it. If the Wii U, which really isnt THAT much more powerful then current consoles, then Im sure current ones can run it.
  • Redeater - October 5, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    Your sound logic has no place on this website.
  • ZenRobot - October 5, 2012 6:53 p.m.

    This just in: Microsoft employee says Microsoft is Microsoft!
  • Japanaman - October 5, 2012 7:42 p.m.

    Honestly, I don't see how current consoles limit a game potential.
  • zombi3grim - October 5, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    I think hes right. Graphics can only get so good before they hit a limit and I think that limit is pretty much reached. Halo 4 looks AMAZING and if they can still pull that kind of graphical power off with the Xbox 360, I say there is NO need to rush the next gen.
  • Redeater - October 5, 2012 9:08 p.m.

    I love how much shit COD gets for churning out games all the time yet Halo rarely gets any flack. Halo 3, ODST, Halo Wars, Halo Reach, Halo Anniversary have all been released within a 5 year period....and now we have Halo 4. I'm not bashing Halo fans but I am suggesting they take a good long look in the mirror next time they rage post about COD. As for myself, I've pretty much been done with Halo after I finished Halo 3. I no longer support new purchases but I do pick them up for $15 in the bargain bin when I am bored.
  • PanicJester - October 6, 2012 2:57 p.m.

    Well, yeah but Halo wars wasn't a FPS, ODST was an add on and Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary was a remake. As where cod has had a completely new game(sorta) every year since 2003, But I'm not complaining I'm still enjoying both series.
  • Redeater - October 6, 2012 11:57 p.m.

    ODST was an add on the same way Black Ops was an add on. I'm guessing that is the logic you are using since both were full games with full single player, full multi player and both retailed as full priced launch games. Halo Wars was still a canon game that "progressed" the story matter how poorly written. As for Halo Anniversary? It was still a Halo game that launched for the same price as new Nintendo Games ($40) and according to Bungie it was like experiencing a new game...hence the hefty price tag. I understand what you are trying to say but by your logic annual releases don't exist. We have only had 2 MW games san MWBO1&2 and we have only had 2 Assassin's Creed games.
  • PanicJester - October 7, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    So your saying ODST wasn't an add-on because it had too much extra content? and unlike H3 was to H3:ODST, Black Ops wasn't called MW:BO nor did it share any content that a past Cod games had, Activision never even tried to perceive it as an add-on. As for Halo Anniversary I'm not sure why you would debate that it was a new game as it was all most exactly the same as Halo 1 and the cost of the game doesn't determine if it's a new game or not. My point with Halo Wars is that it is a totally different game genre as where Cod games are all the same game genre. Lastly, there is a difference in adding content to an existing game then just making a side game like Assassin's Creed did.
  • RedOutlive. - October 6, 2012 6:31 a.m.

    Console manufacturers hit a wall, the next gen that will be considered a leap from the 360/PS3 (since we don't know how the WiiU will fare in that area) will be too expensive to sell for the "acceptable" price range for the mainstream audience. Developers are using all tricks on the book to keep 30FPS at 720p on the current gen. It is clear as day this longevity is artificial. Of course people will not abandon their consoles but they're more than ready to see what the future brings us.
  • Jacko415 - October 6, 2012 8:29 p.m.

    Yeah they keep sacrificing little things to maintain functionality while making it look like its an advancement. Compare halo 3's Anti-Aliasing to Reach's. Sure Reach looks grittier, but 3 looked a lot better as a whole.
  • insaneshane - October 9, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    Dude you have to check this out!

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