There’s no shortage of fans who already have their calendars marked for the launch of Halo 4, and 343 Industries seems to be doing their best to show that the fans come first. Specially made Xbox 360 bundles are nothing new to the Halo series, but the one being made to celebrate the studio’s first full title is on a whole other level.
The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 4 Bundle has now been detailed by the developer, complete with new images, details on construction, and even samples of the system’s custom sounds.
The Limited Edition Xbox 360 has already been confirmed, but seeing the system in better lighting (or a real world setting) is always better than the bland product thumbnails. Halo Waypoint has given a much better look at how the system will look in person, paying special attention to the transparent casing and cool blue lighting. The style isn’t just about looks though, according to the plans the developers have for relating the console to the fiction at play in Halo 4.
Translucent gray plastic and blue lighting is obviously a bit farther away from the last few systems’ design schemes, which is obviously no accident. We all know just how much the minds behind Halo care about the massive amount of mythology fueling the Master Chief’s latest journey, and according to the team, the Forerunners demanded some input:
“We started off with a few different concepts, but most of them were Forerunner in direction. What was interesting about this process was looking both at our universe for inspiration — as well as the fabrication, material, and tech processes that had become available to us. Figuring out what we could do and how those manufacturing and painting techniques could apply to the unit was a completely organic, two way process.
“Unlike some of our “historical” Forerunner stuff, we wanted this to feel new, alive — and functional. And specifically, military. Forerunner stuff has typically felt abandoned, and while this still maintains an element of mystery, it also feels organic and vital in a way our previous monolithic Forerunner stuff has not. An interesting note here is that there are a couple of features you simply can’t see in photographs — including paint and finish on the interior of the console, a touch that provides a subtle depth and detail like insect wings, and the inclusion of blue LEDs on the power button and the jewel on the controller.
“The transparent case does a couple of things — the simplest of course is creating a translucent Xbox for collectors — “metallic”, “weird surfaces”, and “translucent” are all popular ‘mod’ schemes for things like custom PCs and consoles, historically. Secondly (and actually more importantly), it speaks to some of the materials and objects you’re going to encounter in the game. The main inspiration comes from an important object in the game that you haven’t seen yet, and while it’s not a literal recreation of that object, having it grounded in the heart of our story was always the number one factor driving our design process — even if it had ended up as a UNSC-themed object (as did one of the controllers) that would have been a prime driver.”
We won’t even begin to examine what’s being implied there, so how about taking a look at the system while we chew those comments over:
Obviously the translucent material and blue lights will be instantly familiar to the hard-light constructs and forerunner Sentinels, but the developers are obviously hinting at something new. Exactly what kind of story the Chief will be encountering on the game’s Shield World setting is far from clear, and the console doesn’t seem to match the new enemy types. While the elements of the console that will be reflected in-game are a mystery, one thing’s for sure: the custom sounds the system will be sporting are downright awesome.
343 has infused some audio far more in keeping with the Halo series, both for the powering-up (listen here) and the disc eject (also here). The new images and implied connection to the game world make a compelling case, making pre-orders more attractive than a slick exterior ever could. The bundle is priced at $399.99, with the full details available through Waypoint.
The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 4 Bundle will be sold on November 6, 2012, alongside the game.
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