Microsoft has something of a history of neglecting PC gaming, but it’s trying to change that in a big way — by promising its flagship Halo Infinite will feel like a native PC game when it arrives later this year. We’ve known for many months that it wouldn’t be the Xbox Series X’s killer app, but Microsoft’s trying to make PC gamers feel like first-class citizens too, with features as forward-looking as support for 32:9 super-ultrawide monitors like the Samsung Odyssey G9 I reviewed late last year.
This morning, we learned the game would support ultrawide monitors, in addition to triple-keybinds, advanced graphics options, and both crossplay and cross-progression between Xbox and Windows PCs. But this evening, the Halo Waypoint blog went way deeper, revealing what Infinite will look like at 32:9 and an array of other PC-gamer-friendly details like being able to adjust your field of view up to 120 degrees — and the ability to host your own LAN multiplayer server!
In my Samsung Odyssey G9 review, I bemoaned how even the games that do support 32:9 typically look abnormally, wildly stretched out on each side, providing over a dozen examples of how they don’t properly adjust the shape and curvature of the window they’re opening into the 3D game world. But Halo Infinite PC development lead Mike Romero says the game’s designed to support arbitrary window sizes, and can fit its HUD, menus, and even in-game cutscenes into the wider aspect ratios.
“There’s dozens of people across the studio that have had to put dedicated effort into supporting something like ultrawide throughout the entirety of the game, and I’m very excited to say I think we’ll have some of the best ultrawide support I’ve ever seen in a game,” boasts Romero.
Looking at these Halo Infinite images at 32:9, it’s not immediately clear to me that Microsoft has solved the 32:9 issue — looking at the hill on the right of this image below, for instance, it seems like the game world still might appear a little bit skewed and warped.
But it is clear that you’ll see a lot more of the game world at once this way, if you’re one of the few who’ve ascended to an ultrawide monitor — and have a PC powerful enough to drive it, of course.
Here’s a short list of all the PC-esque perks Microsoft is promising:
LAN play, hosting a local multiplayer server on PC that you can join from both PC and Xbox
Crossplay, restricting ranked matches to input type rather than console vs. PC, with server-side anti-cheat
Adjustable FOV (up to 120 degrees) on both PC and console
Mouse and keyboard support on both PC and console
Triple keyboard and mouse bindings
Visual quality settings up to ultra presets on PC, with individual settings for texture quality, depth of field, anti-aliasing etc.
High refresh rate options
21:9, 32:9 “and beyond” ultrawide monitor support on PC
Minimum and maximum framerate settings on PC
Fixed and dynamic resolution scaling options on PC
Optional borderless fullscreen on PC
FPS and ping overlay on PC
Out-of-game multiplayer invites let you join games through Xbox Live, Discord and Steam
As my colleague Tom Warren notes, there’s still more to learn, like whether the game will support GPU-dependent features on PC like Nvidia’s framerate-enhancing DLSS, ray tracing, and more.