After what has happened at the beginning of this year Xbox needs exclusives now more than ever. Xbox could come out with a good exclusive for this year that is a new IP and is a hit, like Sea of Thieves, but Xbox is starting to get so far behind that they are better off not taking chances and they should stick to what they know will succeed. The only problem with sticking with what they know is that those IPs have been done to death.
Halo is now in its fifth numbered game and while the game is still great it isn’t ground breaking anymore like the originals were, which is what sold consoles and made Xbox so popular in the first place. If Xbox wants to take a well known property, but also make something new, they should redefine the Halo franchise. Right now the best way I can think of doing that is with an open world Halo. Open world is currently the hottest thing and the genre could lend itself well to the Halo franchise.
Imagine a Halo similar to Mass Effect with exploration but still with that classic Halo feel. You can go back to certain parts of the previous games and they would be new all over again. It could be co-op and have a Destiny type feel with less RPG by making the armor more for looks and forgetting about special abilities and a skill tree. The armor could also be a way to survive certain environments like Breath of the Wild. You could find armor from throughout Halo history, with the original Halo armor being the holy grail of armor sets. They could also make it so you can discover the classic Halo weapons throughout the universe. This is where Halo could learn from Ghost Recon Wildlands.
There is so much potential in an open world Halo game and you don’t even have to reboot. They could still pick up where Halo 5 left off and make it about [spoilers] tracking down Cortana and stopping her from destroying the galaxy [/spoilers]. The story is also another part Halo can learn from Breath of the Wild. They could make it so you can do any mission at anytime you are just free to explore the world and you have a list of main objectives to do.
Another good idea would be to somewhat keep the original multiplayer. What they could do is make it so multiplayers arenas exist throughout the galaxy and you have to discover them in order to play multiplayer on that map. You could also start a multiplayer match from the area you discovered it with whoever is in your co-op game. Having some type of open world battling similar to The Division wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
An open world Halo could borrow a lot of ideas from other games and come up with a few of its own. This could be a console seller easily. It would give people a reason to come back to Halo and the console in a time where something like this is needed.