Halo 2 may be one of the first games that runs exclusively on Windows Vista, but Bungie says it won't be one of the first to adopt the principles of Microsoft's cross-platform Live Anywhere formula.
Bungie confirmed as much in its latest weekly update. Apparently the Halo 2 Xbox/360 and PC communities will be kept apart partly because "a level playing field would be impossible" due to the gulf between the Xbox and PC launches and partly because "both versions have their controls and aiming system balanced and tuned for that system's abilities and you would have a lopsided situation at best" - which surely raises some questions about how well even games developed from the ground up are going to cope. Still, that's a matter for another time.
On the plus side, those of you waiting patiently for the PC SKU, you can look forward to some new toys and tools - as Bungie intimated while continuing its justification.
"A game like Shadowrun was built from the ground up to run on both platforms with finely balanced cross-platform gameplay," the developer pointed out. "We don't have that luxury, and instead intend to make the Vista version of Halo 2 the best it can be. Add to that the fact that we will have new maps built specifically for the Vista version and a map editor, and cross-platform matchmaking becomes even more complex and less realistic."
Elsewhere in the update, there's news on the retirement of Clanmatch playlists in Halo 2, and even a few words on the possibility of Marathon, Bungie's old-old-days Mac FPS, appearing on Xbox Live Arcade. "Of course it's possible, it's just not on any current agenda," said Bungie. "If it's any consolation, many, many people think it's a good idea."
More on Halo 2 for Vista when there is more.
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