The fate of the Xbox 360 runs parallel to that of the Halo franchise, so says Microsoft Game Studios boss Phil Spencer.
Spencer told OXM that its own key franchises, and Halo in particular, are key drivers in dictating how the console evolves over time.
"I think it's important that our AAA first party titles do help craft and shape how the platform evolves," he explained.
"Halo just by its sheer nature of size, of user base - as well as how important the FPS is in today's gaming world - has to play that role.
"If we lose our way with Halo, we lose our way with Xbox, because Halo and the importance of games like Call of Duty and other shooters, that state of the art needs to continue to move forward, and our team at 343 need to move forward with that. That's always going to be one of our success criteria."
Spencer went on to offer a little assurance that 343 is firmly on the right track with the recently unveiled Halo 4.
"The good thing about 343 is that they've had the time, through the development of Reach, working on getting the map packs out, and getting to know the infrastructure and the build systems and everything about Halo.
"They've also brought in their own talent and their own view so that they can put their own stamp on the franchise," he continued, adding that the studio is "in a position to take over the franchise without missing a beat."
We'll have to wait a while to find out – Halo 4 isn't due out until late 2012.