The cheeky new advertisement for the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition showed a group of people playing Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer with split-screen. Some took this as a playful tease that the game might, finally, get updated to support split-screen–a feature the game controversially left out.
Unfortunately, it was merely an editing issue. Halo community director Brian Jarrard confirmed on Twitter that the depiction of split-screen for Halo 5 in the trailer was only “a little bit of good old fashioned creative liberty in the editing bay.”
Sorry to disappoint but no, splitscreen isn’t being added to Halo 5. The footage in question looks to be a little bit of good old fashioned creative liberty in the editing bay.
— Brian Jarrard (@ske7ch) April 16, 2019
Halo 5 launched without split-screen multiplayer, a staple of the franchise, and fans quickly let Microsoft know about this omission. Developer 343 has said time and again that it will never add split-screen to Halo 5, but thankfully Halo Infinite will have this feature.
Halo 5 executive producer Josh Holmes said the decision to remove split-screen from Halo 5 was “one of the most difficult ones we’ve ever had to make as a studio.” He added that Halo 5’s new “massive-scale environments,” better visuals, and improved AI might have been “compromised” if split-screen was in the mix. Not only that, but Phil Spencer says the majority of Halo co-op happens across Xbox Live, not locally.
The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition launches on May 7 for $250 USD. For lots more on the pros and cons of the digital-only system, check out the video embedded above.