It's impressive, but 343 Industries is still updating Halo: The Master Chief Collection. I know, I know, the game came out way back in 2014 and was a broken mess for many gamers for months (or years) thereafter. But it appears as if Microsoft has put some cash aside to allow 343 to finally update the game... again.
Over on the official Halo Waypoint website, there's a note from the community manager about the update to improve the playability and overall development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection at some point later this summer. Part of the development is being done through what's called a public flighting program, which is just a fancy term for public beta testing.
More than 13,000 gamers have already signed up to be a part of the dedicated testing community. Not all of the 13,000 registered gamers will be activated at once. The developers will be activating accounts periodically during the testing period, and the best part about it is that you don't even have to own the Master Chief Collection to participate. The team would prefer if the people selected had at least some knowledge or experience with the game before participating.
The first public stress test will center around matchmaking updates that have been integrated over the last several months. The content has been designed specifically to work with the testing systems that 343 designed. The initial test will center around Halo 2: Anniversary's multiplayer PvP matchmaking systems to ensure that the population aggregation and matching works as intended.
So, when will this first major test go live? Well, the update post doesn't say. Instead, gamers are informed that the test will go live soon enough and that the team is getting "very close" to it going live.
If you are selected to participate in the testing program, keep in mind that you will have to adhere to the Microsoft Confidentiality terms of service, which is part of the Xbox Insider program. For people who aren't aware of how the Xbox Insider program works, it's essentially broken down into levels, and those with higher clearance are usually selected to alpha or beta test features and games before they're implemented into the Xbox ecosystem or released to the public.
Additionally, the first major patch for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will include an intelligent install option that will allow gamers to pick and choose which games to install from the collection and in what language. All new visual enhancements for the Xbox One X will be rolled out, along with the ability to calibrate HDR and SDR features.
As mentioned, there will be networking matchmaking improvements along with improvements to the overall multiplayer API that powers the online portions of the games, along with improved LAN support for local multiplayer games played across multiple consoles.
Some of the biggest bugs that gamers complained about during the initial release phase have also been addressed and will be fixed when the patch finally goes live.
There's no definitive release window for when the first major patch will be rolled out for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, but 343 is gunning for a tentative late summer window.