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For Microsoft Corporation, "Halo: The Master Chief Collection" Could Be a Masterstroke

Microsoft is betting a fresh coat of digital paint will lure gamers back to Halo. Credits:, Microsoft.

You'll have to wait till 2015 for full access to Halo 5: Guardians. But if you want a teaser, and all four prior versions in an upgraded multiplayer system, Microsoft Corporation  (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) has Halo: The Master Chief Collection coming in November. Should investors applaud the move? Or will waiting another year for a polished upgrade to Mr. Softy's signature title crimp sales of the Xbox One?

Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers address these questions in this week's episode of 1-Up on Wall Street, The Motley Fool's Web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Nathan says there's plenty for investors to chew on. In addition to a remade version of the original Halo and a remade version of Halo 2 with a new engine, the Master Chief Collection includes HD editions of Halo 3 and Halo 4 and a unified interface to play all the multiplayer maps in the history of the series. Gamers can also expect early access to Ridley Scott's Halo: Nightfall digital feature, and of course the Guardians beta.

Tim applauds Microsoft's efforts to monetize existing content in the Master Chief Collection. Adding in the beta is a bonus, but it's also an effective way to toss an early version of a sought-after title into the wild, get feedback, and get paid for the privilege -- especially when most beta software is freely accessible. (Steam is a notable exception, charging for early access to popular titles in its library.)

Nathan agrees, noting that Halo is a systems seller. Creating a better multiplayer experience could boost revenue while creating buzz for Guardians months before its release. What's more, by testing the environment with early adopters, Microsoft should get the data it needs to avoid repeating 343 Industries' well-documented failure to keep gamers engaged in Halo 4's multiplayer mode.

Now it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. Will you be buying Halo: The Master Chief Collection? As an investor, do you expect the suite to help drive Xbox One sales? Click the video to watch Nathan and Tim discuss the developments, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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