Microsoft is gearing up for first betas of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition and Halo: CE on PC

Laurent Giret

2020 is expected to be a very busy year for Xbox Game Studios, with new exclusive games such as Halo: Infinite and Minecraft Dungeons, as well as remaster of old classics from beloved franchises. The release of Halo: Reach on PC made quite a big splash in December, and developer 343 Industries expect to deliver the rest of Halo: MCC on PC within the year, starting with Halo: Combat Evolved.

According to the team, the first beta of Halo: CE on PC should be available for select Halo Insiders next month. “Once we have determined the dates and full scope of content for flighting, we will share those details,” the 343 Industries recently explained on Halo Waypoint. The team explained that it’s planning to bring the same “Intelligent Install” feature available on Xbox One to PC, which will allow Halo: MCC owners to choose which games (including game modes) of the collection they want to install.

In addition to the upcoming beta of Halo: CE on PC, the first beta for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is also coming soon, as spotted by Klobrille on Twitter. The Age of Empires Dev team plans to invite select Age of Empires Insider to the first beta next month, though the beta testing process will be different from the one for Age of Empires II: DE.

Instead of one longer closed beta with a gradually expanding audience, we’ll be splitting the Age III: DE beta into several different, shorter sessions, which will feature focused slices of the game. Our larger Age III: DE closed beta sessions will be dedicated to multiplayer, matchmaking, and the way the game feels when you play with others. We’ll be kicking off these multiplayer closed beta sessions starting in early February. Our plan is to ramp up by first including fans of the original Age III, so the February session will include a limited number of invitations; however, we’ll be making room for more Age fans and inviting a larger audience come March.

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition still has no release date, but it’s possible the game will be released before the end of the year. This third installment in the popular RTS franchise probably didn’t enjoy the same level of popularity than the first two games, so the remaster should be a great way to bring it to a new audience. Microsoft is also hard at work on Age of Empires IV, but we don’t have new information about this new game since the release of the first gameplay trailer back in November.