Only a year ago, Bungie finally admitted they were, in fact, working on Halo 3, and had been for over a year.
Now, with the release of that game still, in all likelihood, more than half a year away, rumors of sequels, "true sequels", expansion packs and secret features are circulating through the labyrinthine tubes of the Internet.
PlayThree is citing unconfirmed, unidentified "sources close to Bungie" that state the following:
RUMOR: Halo 3 will run at 1080p, 60fps. MS apparently wants this to one-up ths PS3's claim to being the only "true 1080p" console. Bungie is supposedly testing this internally now.
REACTION: One can see why Microsoft would want this, but the record for past Halo games is that they will lock at 30fps and walk the line where textures and effects are more important than resolution or high framerates. That the rumor specifies that the Beta won't be 1080p is just a hedge, meaning this rumor gets to survive past that point, whereas otherwise people might assume that if the beta isn't 1080p, the game won't be. After all, Halo 3 has had a lot of work done to it so far: geometry, textures, effects. If it wasn't all done with 1080p in mind from the start, can this be changed so late in the process? And if so, why doesn't it apply to the beta?
RUMOR: Bungie is striving to make Halo 3 compatible with Xbox 360 Cores, but may have to drop to 30fps in some cases.
REACTION: That makes little sense. A hard drive is of use for caching content, reducing load times. How it affects framerate is difficult to see. Why Microsoft would want to make part of their installed base feel like they are getting a crippled version of a flagship title just for the "1080p 60fps" on the back of the box is beyond me. People who want Halo 3 will buy it regardless of those numbers.
RUMOR: Halo 4 will be a launch title for the next next-generation Xbox in 2011.
REACTION: Doesn't Bungie want to do something else for a change? Isn't the whole idea in letting Ensemble and Wingnut work in the Halo universe to give Bungie a break, so they can move on from Halo?