Microsoft has announced that it will be shipping Halo 2 - only for Windows Vista, it seems.
The press release just landed in our inboxes, so details are short and the marketing junk is long. However, we do know that it will be developed by a team at Microsoft Game Studios in partnership with Bungie Studios. Bungie themselves, we assume, are knee-deep in Xbox 360 Halo 3 for the foreseeable future.
The game will offer the original game and multiplayer levels, as well as the additional maps offered in the Multiplayer Map Pack released on the Xbox last year. There will also be a map editor included to build your own levels.
The press release really does say "Only for Windows Vista"
. How will this be? Well, Vista will ship with DirectX 10 - and the information that we have on DX10 is that it will not
be released for Windows XP. All Halo 2 has to do is to demand an install of DX10 and the game will thus be restricted to Vista.
DX10 actually comes with Shader Model 4 and a whole raft of new graphical features - however, there's no indication that Halo 2 will benefit from any graphical updates over the Xbox original, aside from the upping of the resolution. We could hold out hope for some updated textures and some higher polygon counts, but we won't be holding our collective breaths.
Will Microsoft be 'encouraging' more games houses to restrict new titles to Vista? We don't know, but it would make life difficult for a lot of gamers if an upgrade was effectively forced by a lack of new titles on XP.
Will you be playing Halo 2 through for the second time on the PC? In fact, will you be playing it through for the first? Let us know what you think of this over in the forums.