They’ve blamed it on “technical obstacles”. They’ve hidden behind their piles of money and refused to answer questions about it. But now, thanks our brave comrade-in-gaming Patrick Klepek, we know the truth, Microsoft! We know your dirty little secret about why we can’t have more than 100 friends on Xbox Live: Halo 2!


The cat is out of the bag, according to Patrick from G4TV,  who says that even now, fours years after the launch of Xbox 360, the Xbox Live architecture is being limited because it has to provide compatibility for Halo 2. He says the “technical obstacles” Microsoft uses as an excuse for limiting our friendship, is because the original Xbox Live was never designed to support more than 100 friends. While that shouldn’t be a problem for the Xbox 360, allowing more than 100 friends now would entail ending support for Halo 2, which remains one of the most popular games on Xbox Live. Patrick states “it’s not as simple as issuing a patch for Halo 2, or else Microsoft would have released one ages ago”.

How dare they! The gall, the chutzpah! We deserve being able to have more than 100 friends on our Friends List, we’re just that popular!

P.S. Does anyone actually give a flying peanut-covered chihuahua that they can’t have more than 100 friends on Xbox Live? Personally, we’re not all that concerned, since we think at the most, people only have about ten or twenty real friends on Xbox Live, and perhaps another twenty or so they play with regularly that they found online through friends. Is the need for having at least 100 people – each with their own Notification when they come online or drop offline – really that important? We don’t think so, but don’t let Patrick know, he seems upset that his Friends List is being kept impotent by Microsoft.

Of course, on the flip side, there might be more to this tale. While the most obvious drawback to keeping the Xbox Live network compatible with Halo 2 is a limit of 100 friends, there may be other factors that are being influenced in keeping the network outdated for the sake of an old game. Improvements to the Marketplace in terms of speed and download rate, as well as general network improvements for lag and packet loss, may be purposefully held off because Microsoft cannot make large changes to the Xbox Live network code. If that’s the case, the answer is clear: we must find and destroy all copies of Halo 2 immediately, so that our Gears of War 2 can fly free.

As for why the thousands of Halo 2 players don’t just upgrade to Halo 3, you can blame e-sports for that. Yes you can.

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