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Halo 5 pre-orders marred by 'too early' to play error and slow downloads at launch (update)

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Halo 5: Guardians should have been playable at 12:01 a.m. today, but some who purchased the game through the Xbox Store were instead greeted with an error that said it was "too early" to play 343 Industries' first-person shooter.

We began downloading Halo 5's 54.84 GB install file around midday ET yesterday. At midnight, the download had reached 38 percent completion. When attempting to launch the game, a message appeared saying it was "too early" to do so. The message linked to the Xbox Store, which informed us that the game should have been playable at 12:01 a.m. ET.

By 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday morning, the download was 59 percent complete, and the "too early" message continued to appear when trying to launch the game that should have gone live eight hours previous.

It's not clear how widespread the error is, though several disappointed Halo 5 players tweeted about the problem. Multiple users also complained of the error on the Halo subreddit in more than one thread. Downloads appear to be in various states of completion, from in progress to fully loaded.

Redditors have suggested several fixes, including hard resetting the console and trying a wired internet connection, but the results are inconsistent. Cancelling the download and restarting it with a wired connection seems to have made our second attempt at downloading the game quicker, but it's still not playable as of this writing.

We've contacted Microsoft for more information on the situation and will update this article with more information as we receive it.

Halo 5: Guardians, the first new game in the main series since 2012's Halo 4, launched today exclusively on Xbox One. For more, be sure to read Polygon's review, which called Halo 5 "one of the most welcoming, competitive, balanced and fun games of the year." Press play below to see the campaign in action.

Update: Canceling the slow download, plugging in an ethernet cable and starting a new download did the trick for us. We weren't able to play Halo 5 until our Xbox One said it was completely downloaded. That process took more than an hour, but after it downloaded and installed, we were able to begin playing the game.

Update 2: "The download speeds for Halo 5: Guardians are normal and working as intended," a Microsoft representative told Polygon. "There were isolated reports of slower speeds last evening, shortly after the worldwide launch, but everything is now working as expected."