MacSoft offers Halo Universal binary

MacSoft has posted a Universal binary release Halo. If you bought Halo before Apple started shipping Intel-based Macs, it’ll cost you $5 to download a new disc image from Macgamestore.com. What’s more, MacSoft is selling new discs directly for $9.95.

If you’re wondering why the Universal binary release of Halo has taken this long to come out and why some users are being charged for it, this is much more than a simple patch or update to make the game play natively on Intel-based Macs. It’s a complete rewrite of the game, which is why the download measures 650MB (the size of a full CD image). The old game code, first released for the Mac in 2003, wasn’t directly portable to Intel Macs and had to be extensively reworked in order to function on new Intel-based Macs.

Those customers who bought the game after Apple began shipping Intel-based Macs in January, 2006 are entitled to a free update — more details are available on MacSoft's Web site.

After downloading the disc image, you’ll need to burn it to CD. You’ll also need to supply your original serial number in order for the game to work.

Halo tells the story of the human race’s battle against the Covenant, a collective of aliens bent on the destruction of other species. You take the role of Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced human soldier who finds himself on the surface of an artificially made, habitable ringworld that may make the difference between humanity’s success or destruction.

Halo has evoked passions almost unlike any other game in the history of the Macintosh. Originally developed by Bungie for Mac OS and Windows, the game made its public debut at Macworld Expo in New York. Shortly thereafter it was shelved when Bungie was acquired by Microsoft, and was later released as an "exclusive" for Microsoft’s Xbox video game console. Years later — late in 2003 — the game finally emerged for Windows and Mac, released for the Mac only a few weeks after the Windows version hit store shelves.

Haven’t bought Halo yet, and have an Intel-based Mac you’d like to play it on? MacSoft says a Universal binary version is now shipping to retailers — check for Apple’s Universal logo on the box itself to make sure you have the right version.

If you haven’t upgraded to an Intel Mac and don’t plan to do so for a while longer, there’s nothing compelling you to make this upgrade — it’s functionally identical to the last PowerPC-only version, and is network-compatible.

System requirements call for a G4 or better processor, Mac OS X v10.3.9 or later, 256MB RAM, ATI Radeon 7500 or Nvidia GeForce2 MX or better graphics chip with at least 32MB VRAM, 1.4GB hard disk space and Internet or LAN access for online play.

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