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Halo: The Master Chief Collection PC Beta Could Start This Month

PC gamers are looking forward to the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on that platform, but unfortunately, we hadn't heard much about when that might occur. That changed yesterday, courtesy of a tweet from Halo community manager Brian Jarrard.


"Happy April!" Jarrard wrote. "If all goes according to plan, this is the month we start the first Reach/MCC flights."

Now, putting aside the shock of getting such huge news from a nonchalant tweet, we still have a few more questions about this.

As far as the flights — beta tests in Microsoft parlance — are concerned, will the flights of Halo: Reach also take place on Xbox One? Microsoft is approaching PC very carefully, and wants to test every single game in The Master Chief Collection so there isn't a repeat of MCC's Xbox One launch. But Reach will be an entirely new addition to Microsoft's home console, and it seems peculiar that the company would launch Reach cold on that system.


Also, how long will the Halo: Reach flight be open? It stands to reason that Microsoft would keep each game in test flights of similar length, and release them afterward once the company is sure everything is peachy. If the Reach flight lasts, say, two months, it would give us a better idea of how long it'll actually take for the entire Master Chief Collection to come out on PC.

We did learn a bit more about The Master Chief Collection's PC release, thanks to some additional details that were discussed at South by Southwest. Games in the collection will sync progress across both PC and Xbox One, though that only extends to a certain point. You won't be able to just leave MCC on your Xbox One mid-mission and pick up on your PC, but completed missions, achievements, maps created in Forge, and other settings will be shared across the two platforms.

And with that being said, the bad news here is that Halo: The Master Chief Collection isn't going to be a Play Anywhere title. For those unfamiliar, any game designated to be Play Anywhere can be purchased on either PC or Xbox One and played across both platforms, with pick-up-where-you-left-off progress sync and — sometimes — cross-platform co-op and multiplayer.


Halo: MCC is going to require a separate purchase on PC, even if you choose (for whatever reason) to get it from the Microsoft Store. Is it a little lame that Microsoft is trying to wiggle its way out of supporting its own Play Anywhere program? Yes. But that appears to be the reality for Halo's return to PC.

We're not entirely sure when the Master Chief Collection test flight will kick off for Reach, but we'll be sure to let you know once we hear more.