Halo 4 release date announced for November 2012

343 Industries enlisting Master Chief this fall

343 Industries is prepping Halo 4 for a global launch on November 6, 2012. Microsoft announced the official date for the highly-anticipated sequel in a press release this morning, stating the new chapter in Master Chief's saga will represent a “new beginning for the landmark entertainment franchise.”

“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, Microsoft Studios's corporate vp. “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.”

Halo 4's early November release date puts it on a direct intercept course with Assassin's Creed III (October 30), Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Grand Theft Auto V (if you believe the rumor in GTA V release date spotted on Rockstar resume).

More Halo 4 news is slated to drop tonight on late-night cable, according to Microsoft's Major Nelson, who tweeted instructions to followers to keep an eye out for Master Chief on Conan O'Brien's talk show. That said, now that Microsoft and 343 Industries have revealed Halo 4's launch date on its own, it's likely tonight's reveal will be a recap of the release plans for everyone else who didn't spend all morning refreshing their news feeds.

While you're waiting for Conan's broadcast, see what we've already learned about Halo 4 from the latest screenshots in Halo 4: New screens show campaign, multiplayer, enemies. Will scorch your eyes with shiny visual joy, and listen in to the sequel's soundtrack in Halo 4 trailer introduces series' new composer: hear tracks from the game.

We recommend