Microsoft's announcement of Halo Waypoint, the Halo "destination" coming to Xbox Live this Fall, was light on details, overshadowed by the reveal of the Halo Legends anime series. Fortunately, 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor was at Comic-Con to clear things up.
Waypoint will offer Halo enthusiasts access to audio and video content in addition to community features and the option to follow your "Halo career." O'Connor explained that Waypoint will track the Halo games you play, the achievements you unlock and other aspects not directly tied to "Halo 3, Halo Wars, and Halo games ongoing."
O'Connor says that Waypoint, accessed from the Xbox 360 dashboard, and likely from the My Xbox section, will be a "really good place for you to interact with other people."
"There's a lot more to Waypoint than just watching movies and listening to podcasts," he said, saying that fans of the series are underserved on their Xboxes.
"Maybe you just want to see a really old Halo trailer from E3," he explained, saying that fans shouldn't need to leave their consoles to see that kind of content. "We're going to aggregate everything that you would want to watch from the Halo universe on that site. But it's a lot more ambitious than that. It's going to evolve in features and functionality to make it the prime destination for the Halo fan."
As far as pricing, O'Connor says that Microsoft is still figuring out whether Xbox Live Silver members will need to pay to access the product.
"Certainly, if you're a Gold member you're going to get access to all of that experience," he said. "We want everyone to have this same experience, but the question is, if there's multiplayer features that are technically connected to Gold, it's easier to deal with. There's a lot of reasons that [tying it to] Gold makes sense."
Halo Waypoint will also be the first place fans will have the chance to see episodes of Halo Legends, the series of shorts developed by Japanese animation studios. They'll be available to viewers for a limited time, debuting on Xbox Live as "events," not just dropped on the Xbox Live Video Marketplace.
"You'll be able to see episodes in their entirety via Waypoint in a staggered schedule," O'Connor explained. "Those events will be global—it will be in every Xbox territory—and we'll make those things sort of 'come participate' events."
Those events won't necessarily be debuting as if they were broadcast on television—you won't need to be at home at 8 PM to get your first peek at Halo Legends. That would be tough if you have a life—or you live in distant time zone.
"We'll find a window to make it fit and adjust that accordingly around the world," O'Connor said.
Still, make plans to be near your Xbox if you want to watch the anime series before it's released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital distribution next year. Waypoint will let you see it a lot sooner.
"The date is Fall, but it's sooner rather than later."