Many gamers around the world finally have their shiny new Xbox Series X consoles to play with.
So much excitement is bubbling for the future of gaming, off the back of a miserable 2020, marred by delays and disappointments.
Yet, something is missing. What is it? It's the emptiness left by an absent friend who we all know is synonymous with Xbox - Master Chief.
Halo Infinite, the newest title in the franchise, was originally set to release with the new Xbox but was delayed to ensure it was in the best state for launch.
There's no doubt this was a decision not taken lightly by 343 or Microsoft, but a necessary one at that.
Now we've had a taste of what next-gen consoles can do, it's that much more important that Halo Infinite succeeds.
Here's why it can't afford to fail.
Next-Generation Consoles Set Expectations
Next-generation consoles are here and are wowing gamers around the world.
Xbox fans, myself included, have invested £250-450 into their consoles at launch in the hope that the future is bright.
Consoles sold extremely well, in fact, it was the best launch for an Xbox console in history - so you can expect many gamers dying to roflcopter some brutes with the Chief.
Not to mention that Halo has endured low FPS and clunky gameplay for a while now and with the new consoles, we're heading into the glory of 120FPS on consoles.
If Halo fails to make the most of the new tech at hand, it will raise questions why we didn't just stick with what we had or get it on PC.
Halo Infinite MUST make the most of all the power the next Xbox has to offer and do it well.
Delaying The Game Adds Pressure To Make It Better
The global pandemic has caused frustrating issues with game releases all year, meaning fan are easy to forgive.
But, ultimately, Halo 5 released over 5 years ago and what was shown in July (to many) wasn't good enough.
343 and Microsoft took the brave decision to delay the game into 2021.
For a lot of players, there will be no excuse as to why this game doesn't succeed and blow the socks of Xbox players while making many PlayStation fans jealous.
343 Industries Need A Win
It's always going to be a tough act to follow Bungie - they made Halo what it is.
343 haven't had the best reception with their titles. They've implemented a lot of new mechanics into Halo that have been criticised by many, despite their good intentions.
There's no doubt that 343 Industries care massively for Halo and its community.
They've done a great job with the Master Chief Collection, turning a launch nightmare to an exemplary compilation of a franchise's catalogue.
343 have lived in the shadows of Bungie and I'm sure they want to get out from there and show the world what they can really do.
I fear for the future of Halo if 343 don't get this one spot on. However, having worked very closely with their staff on a number of events, I have no doubts that they will step up to the task and smash it out of the park.
The PS5 Has More And Stronger Exclusives
It's no secret that the PS5 has launched with more exclusives. While the number is still low, they are far stronger than Xbox.
The Xbox does offer Game Pass, but for a lot of players, this isn't what they want their Xbox for.
One of the console's debut exclusives needs to be a knockout and continue the great work the hardware has started in this road to next-generation gaming.
It would be devastating if one of the main draws to an Xbox console is a flop and disappoints a lot of fans.
Not to mention the fact that we're probably a good few years off of Gears 6.
Chief Deserves A Worthy Ending
Halo Infinite is the closing of this second trilogy that Chief has found himself in, he deserves to go out on a truly memorable ending.
Whatever the franchise and story hold for the future, Master Chief needs to be memorialised forever.
You could argue Halo 3 did that and it was a mistake reviving the story, but since we are where we are, let's send him off in style.