Things were different back in the brief, heady days when the original Xbox was at the forefront of Microsoft’s video game business. Microsoft Studios and the many games it published were more often than not given equal life on PC and Console. Even the biggest gun in the Microsoft arsenal, Halo, made it to PCs eventually. Halo: Combat Evolved jumped to Windows and Mac in 2003 in a port in part handled by Gearbox Software, and Microsoft Game Studio itself brought Halo 2 to Windows in 2007.
That year marked a transition for the series. The record-breaking September ’07 release of Halo 3 was the first and only platform release of that game. Despite some evidence suggesting PC-only gamers may finally be allowed to finish the fight, Microsoft said on Monday that Halo will remain Xbox-only for some time yet.
On Sunday, programmer kn00tcn noted that the latest AMD beta driver, Catalyst 13.3, has a surprising reference buried inside it for a game that doesn’t run on any of the company’s graphics processors quite yet. Sitting inside is an application ID that reads, “<application Title=”Halo3” File=”halo3*.exe”>”.
The driver entry came hot on the heels of a clutch of Halo games popping up in the registry of Valve’s Steam. To date, not even the old PC releases of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 have made it to Steam, but the database indicated both of those games and Halo 3 would be coming to the platform at some point in the future.
Microsoft shot down the hopes of PC fans on Monday though, telling Eurogamer that PC players will need an Xbox 360 if they want to play any Halo game released in the last six years.
“We currently do not have plans to release any Halo titles on Steam, nor do we currently have plans to release a PC version of Halo 3,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. That’s as explicit and definitive a “no” as anyone can get.