The franchise development director of Halo believes that the iconic game series can continue to be defining game for Xbox beyond the current console.

The Halo series is intrinsically linked with the rise and rise of the Xbox, with the first of the games becoming an iconic title for the original Xbox, the second becoming a massive illustration of why online gaming was central to the console and the glittering launch of the third illustrating just how huge it's successor - the Xbox 360 - had become.

Speaking to TechRadar at a preview event for the game, Frank O'Connor explained that he believed Halo 4 built on that legacy, and that the franchise would continue beyond the current generation.

Quality bar

"Any franchise can continue to be successful and important or central as long as you keep up the quality," said O'Connor.

"Any time I hear the term 'franchise fatigue' they are really talking about a dip in quality and not about being too many of a thing.

"Mario has something like 178 games SKUs and there is no franchise fatigue because developers continue to put out quality products.

"The rabbit you have to chase is quality and as long as you are making quality experiences I don't think there's any danger of it going away any time soon.

"We're a big franchise now so there's always going to be a demand for Halo things it's just that some of those experiences are going to be books or games or action figures or so on."

Beyond 360

The latest game – which sticks close to the look and feel of past offerings and will thrill Halo fan – is making an appearance on what is now a mature console, with expectations of a successor high for 2013.

However, O'Connor insists that the developers are enjoying coding for the Xbox 360, with the flexibility of its hardware continuing to offer 'technical headroom' to exploit.

"We are getting closer and closer to the metal, as it were, in terms of the end of a life cycle but actually the end of the life cycle has become kind of a scratchy term nowadays," added O'Connor.

"This has been one of the longest most successful console cycles and in part that was because the hardware was fairly flexible to begin with.

"One of the things I love about console games – and I play both – is that PC games tend to get better and better in a Moore's-law-following-technology way, whereas with console games it was exciting to get into the end days, because programmers and artists were able to do things that you would have considered it impossible to do at the beginning of that console's life."