Microsoft has announced plans to bring its hit Xbox video game Halo 2 to the PC — but the game will only run on Windows Vista, Microsoft’s long-awaited update to the Windows operating system also known by its codename “Longhorn.” The game’s Mac status is still up in the air.
Microsoft plans to use an internal game studio to do the conversion of the hit game created by Microsoft’s own Bungie Studios. Halo 2 is a first-person shooter sequel to a game first seen by Mac enthusiasts at 1999’s Macworld Expo in New York City — shortly thereafter, Microsoft acquired Bungie and made Halo an Xbox-exclusive title.
Halo would later re-emerge for the Mac and PC, in 2003 — two years after it debuted on the Xbox. MacSoft licensed and published the Macintosh version of Halo, which shipped within weeks of its PC counterpart. That PC version was developed by Gearbox Software and based on Bungie’s original code.
The futuristic sci-fi game series follows the story of Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced human soldier who fights a war against The Covenant, a marauding collective of aliens bent on destroying humanity. Microsoft says the game has sold more than 14.5 million copies to date. It’s also spawned a movie, which is currently in pre-production and is due to be released in 2007.
The Windows Vista version of Halo 2 will combine the original game with its multiplayer map pack. Players will also have tools to build and customize their own multiplayer levels.
Microsoft did not state its reasons for making Halo 2’s PC debut exclusive to Windows Vista, but it’s thought that it may help drive adoption of the new operating system, which is due for release sometime in late 2006.
A MacSoft spokesman would not comment on his company’s plans for Halo 2.