Rumors of an HD Halo: Combat Evolved remake have been circulating for the last year - but have dramatically increased in frequency during the last few months.
Apparently, the rumors are true - the original Halo is getting an HD remake and will arrive this Holiday season.
Joystiq reports that, not only will the original Halo be featured in high definition, it's being remade with all new art assets and will include an updated control scheme as well.
343 Industries, the team created to oversee the Halo franchise at Microsoft, following Bungie's departure, has long been rumored to be involved with the project but it sounds as if Saber Interactive (TimeShift and the forthcoming gravity defying 3rd person action game Inversion), may be doing most of the heavy lifting.
The finer details of the project are still pretty hazy, such as the potential inclusion of 3D capability, the possibility Microsoft might update Halo 2, and how much the team intends to mess with the Combat Evolved format - in favor of more recent Halo gameplay additions such as armor abilities and four player online co-op.
While a basic remake with updated visuals and cinematics would certainly be an enjoyable trip down memory lane - it seems much more likely that, given Xbox 360's lack of premiere first party titles in 2011, Microsoft will be pushing for the Halo remake to be a major seller - as opposed to a nostalgic budget title. As a result, it's reasonable to assume that we'll see a major overhaul to the core Combat Evolved gameplay mechanics - in favor of Halo: Reach style multiplayer.
While that might be frustrating to some Halo purists, it would be absurd for Microsoft to have invested so much time in getting players comfortable with the new gameplay mechanics and combat options - only to take one giant space-jump back to the Halo gameplay of 10 years ago.
The Halo: Combat Evolved remake will launch on the 10 year anniversary of Halo's original Xbox debut - November 15, 2011.