Save the universe date: Halo 4 to launch on November 6

Halo 4, the eighth installment of the long-running Xbox franchise, will launch on Nov. 6. The game is the latest in a series that has sold more than 40 million units — or more than $2 billion in sales at retail — in the past decade.

“We are beginning a new saga with Halo 4 and embarking on a journey that will encompass the next decade of Halo games and experiences,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Millions of fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to step back into the boots of Master Chief, and with Halo 4 leading the charge, we’re confident 2012 will be the most successful year in Xbox history.”

The first title in the new “Reclaimer Trilogy,” Halo 4 is set four years after the events of Halo 3. Lost in space and adrift on the remains of a UNSC frigate, Master Chief and artificial intelligence sidekick Cortana return to face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe.

Halo 4 is the first game in the series that studio Bungie, which created Halo, is not developing. Microsoft subsidiary 343 Industries has taken over the franchise. This latest entry will no doubt face some stiff competition in the busy November blockbuster season. Capcom’s Resident Evil 6 is set to hit store shelves on November 20. Grand Theft Auto V and a new Call of Duty could potentially launch that month as well while Assassin’s Creed 3 will release a week earlier on October 30.

Best Buy has already announced that it is accepting preorders of Halo 4 in stores and on

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