NDS Editorial - Halo DS?

For over a year, fans have dreamed of Halo on a Nintendo handheld. Here's why we think Microsoft must make this game...

Hey there, this is Nintendist, a new recruit to gba.n64europe.com. Today I?m going to start what I hope will become a regular feature: editorial columns. For my first editorial, I?m going to talk about something that we've all dreamed of at least once, yet never truly believed might come true. Before I explain why I believe there is reason to hope for a Halo DS, let me first cover some rumors that have spawned on the CES floor. These rumors speak of a portable Halo, but one not on the DS, not on the PSP, but rather on Tiger?s new handheld system, the Gizmondo.

Silly name aside, the Gizmondo boasts more features than PSP and DS combined (GPS, built-in camera, etc), and yet will be selling for a whopping $400 ? a steep price by any standard. What?s more, the rumors of Halo Gizmondo are almost definitely false, originating from Tiger?s announcement that it had scored a major gaming franchise for its handheld (which turned out to be Sonic, not Halo).

Still, the idea of a Halo portable makes you think: Would such a game ever come to fruition? Which system would it be on? Why would Microsoft ever even lend its killer app to a rival company?

The answers are simple, and yet complicated. Microsoft would be wise to manipulate the handheld war to its own gain without actually creating a portable of its own. That way, it can reap the benefits without actually taking any great risks. Microsoft has gone on the record declaring that Sony?s PSP will fail against the DS because of Nintendo?s iron grip on the market. Microsoft has also expressed pleasure at the thought of Sony, its greatest console rival, being distracted by a handheld war with Nintendo, especially during the year that Xbox 2 is set to launch.

If Microsoft truly wants to make the most of the handheld conflict, the best thing they could do would be to create a Halo DS. Sony loyalists (if there are any reading this) please bear with me. The DS currently lacks any sort of killer app on the scale of Super Smash Brothers (or for that matter, Rockstar?s recently announced GTA PSP), unless you count the DS? admittedly excellent Metroid Prime Hunters (which, for the record, I don?t?yet). The PSP is coming, and it's armed with a hugely impressive launch as well as a wicked long-term lineup. I?d go so far as to say that the PSP will eventually gain the upper hand unless Nintendo has some big guns stowed away somewhere.

If Microsoft wants to see Sony sweat, if they really want to see Sony distracted, then a Halo on the DS, a single hyped up game, would be enough to do it. Not only will it sell well while played on the millions of DS? already in consumer hands, not only will it prepare the handheld market for the taste of Halo (face it, if Microsoft wins the console wars, they?d go after portables next), but it would also stick Sony on the defensive in a battleground that Microsoft never even has to set foot upon.

Sony would be forced to divert a large portion of their attention and resources towards enforcing the PSP (to make sure their hefty investment pays off) giving Microsoft the perfect opportunity to push its Xbox 2. In addition, a Halo game on a Nintendo handheld would serve another important purpose ? spreading Microsoft?s killer app to the Japanese market. With the Xbox doing quite poorly in Japan, Halo DS would be a great way to get the Japanese excited about Xbox 2 and the inevitable Halo 3.

What?s more, from a Microsoft standpoint, Halo DS might go a long way towards cracking the remaining Nintendo fanbase. What Nintendo fanboy wouldn?t support their company?s system by buying a Halo DS, if for no other reason than to see what the fuss is about? So long as Bungie perpetuates its Halo track record, millions of DS owners would very likely be addicted to the Xbox?s biggest franchise for the first time.

Last of all, the DS is perfectly suited for FPS gameplay. Anyone who has played Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt can testify that touch screen precision does indeed rule. Metroid is arguably the most promising title in the DS lineup yet, but it will still need some tweaking, polish, and hype before it can be the killer app that spearheads the DS movement.

And speaking of hype, let us not forget the sheer shock value that the news of a Halo DS would create. Before you know it, it would snowball and overshadow just about anything Sony can offer. The unusual coalition of Nintendo and Microsoft would in itself generate a lot of news, and it would really make Sony fight for its market share on two fronts ? against both the DS and the Xbox 2.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Bungie, Microsoft, Nintendo ? please, make our dreams come true. Give us a Halo DS.

I?ll leave you now with this mockup box art that?s been floating around the web:

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Send feedback to gba[at]gba.n64europe.com
Posted on 11-01-2005 by nintendist


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