The Xbox One Halo game slated for release this year will be Halo 2 Anniversary Edition, according to a source posting to NeoGAF.
The source, verified by well-known NeoGAF moderator “bishoptl,” who approved the account and confirmed the user is in a position that lends legitimacy to his or her claims, says that Halo 2 Anniversary Edition will include access to the Halo 5 beta as well as extra live-action content in the same vein as Forward Unto Dawn. There’s also rumor of an alternate ending to Halo 2 being constructed for its Anniversary version. The rerelease would, of course, feature updated HD graphics and Achievements.
Halo 2 first launched on the original Xbox November 9, 2004. If the NeoGAF source is right, and Halo 2 Anniversary Edition is slated for November 11 this year, it would coincide with the game’s 10-year anniversary—much like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary’s November, 2011 release did with the original Halo’s 2001 launch.
This report also falls in line with the murky language employed by Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, who, following the Halo Xbox One announcement at E3 2013, informed with IGN that the title was not Halo 5, but still a “legitimate” entry in the series. Releasing Halo 2: Anniversary Edition the year before a proper Halo entry would mirror 343 Industry’s approach when launching Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary the year before Halo 4.
This seems exceedingly realistic, since there’s no way 343i would be able to turn out Halo 5 in fewer than two years since wrapping up Halo 4, a game that took three years to develop. Not unless Microsoft wanted Halo’s Xbox One debut to fall short of next-gen visual fidelity.