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The Master Chief Collection celebrates 20 years of Halo with Xbox throwbacks going back to 1999

Halo: The Master Chief Collection
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is dishing out throwback cosmetics to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary, and it's starting with the first Spartan armor set ever shown to the public. 

Way back in 1999, Apple's Steve Jobs revealed Halo – which, at the time, was just a bunch of vague ideas propped up by a very carefully edited trailer – before Microsoft bought Bungie and positioned Halo: Combat Evolved as the big Xbox launch title. And it was that 1999 reveal that gave us the chunky Orion armor which has now been revived as a Halo 2 cosmetic in The Master Chief Collection. 

The Orion armor will be available later today, November 3, and it's the first of many cosmetics to come. These will all be available to purchase with Season Points, and developer 343 Industries says they'll all return to the Exchange at some point in the future, so don't fret if you can't get everything now. You can view the full lineup in the images below:

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

The aptly titled Duke shoulder armor and Beast backpack, both based on the original Xbox hardware, are definitely among the best cosmetics in this lineup. That console was built like a tank, and the bulky Duke controller has lived on through special edition Xbox controllers, so it's only fitting to see them armor the Spartans that helped launch the Xbox brand. Halo 3 fans are especially fortunate, as most of these skins and items stem from the halcyon days of 2007 – arguably one of the best years for video games altogether as well as the Halo series. 

You can check out a few other items, including a stunning Microsoft Office Clippy nameplate, over on Halo Waypoint. Patch notes for today's anniversary update are also live.

The latest Halo Infinite trailer smacks more than a little of the beloved Finish the Fight commercials for Halo 3.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.