Halo 4


VideoVideo: Games with awful product tie-ins

And liberty and Red Bull for all.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn review

Does Microsoft's low budget, live action web series work as a standalone DVD release?

Key events

1st November 2012

Halo 4 review

Cancelled Halo Mega Bloks game revealed

In 2013 a Mega Bloks Halo game was in development for Xbox 360 but would never see the light of day.

The prototype, codenamed Haggar, was found and shared by PtoPOnline. Video footage shows a colourful, cute and humorous interpretation of Halo inspired by the Mega Bloks line of Halo toys.

Mega Bloks is an alternative to Lego, in case you didn't know, and the Mega Bloks Halo game looks and works a lot like a Lego Halo game would. Third-person, breezy action, with lots of collection, customisation and places to build things. Split-screen was part of the mix, and there were puzzles, side-on platforming and even a Besieged mode where you could fortify a fortress and defend against waves of enemies.

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Passing out isn't something people are meant to do very often - or at all, in fact - not that you'd know it from video games. Game protagonists, seemingly, like nothing more than sparking out for a while and then coming to later. I've been rendered unconscious twice in my life and I can't say either was a particularly fun experience, but that's certainly not stopping the games industry - Metal Gear Solid 5 made the latest contribution to the proud tradition just this week, in fact.

VideoVideo: Games with awful product tie-ins

And liberty and Red Bull for all.

I think it's fair to say that Bungie has had an interesting time of late. First, there came the controversy over the Taken King Collector's Edition making certain content unavailable to existing players without purchasing the game a second time. Then came a cross-promotion with Red Bull, asking players to purchase special promotional cans of the energy drink to access an extra mission in The Taken King expansion.

343 Industries announces Halo 4 global championship

343 Industries has announced the Halo 4 Global Championship - and slapped $500,000 down as prize money.

It's a summer-long tournament with a grand prize of $200,000, and begins at the Rooster Teeth Expo in Austin, Texas, on 5th July and, on Xbox Live on 15th July.

Qualifying rounds will be held before a two-day Finals competition in Seattle from 31st August to 1st September.

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Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn review

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn review

Does Microsoft's low budget, live action web series work as a standalone DVD release?

One of the biggest surprises - if not the only surprise - of Microsoft's Xbox One announcement was the revelation that Halo is being adapted into a TV show by none other than Steven Spielberg. As big name endorsements go, they don't come much bigger - even if any excitement must be tempered by the fact that Spielberg's sci-fi TV ventures tend to be a lot less illustrious than his movies. Falling Skies is a hit, but did anyone stick around to see how his critically panned Terra Nova series ended? And does anyone even remember his UFO saga, Taken?

Still, even the least games-savvy consumer recognises the Spielberg name, and that's what matters. The games industry, if you hadn't noticed, has a crippling inferiority complex when it comes to film and TV. Despite every video game adaptation being mostly terrible, there's still a deep-seated belief that rendering your characters in live action rather than rendering them with pixels lends them a validity that games can't manage on their own.

How else to explain Forward Unto Dawn, Halo's most recent live action incarnation, which started as a series of 15-minute "webisodes" and has now been compiled into an 80-minute movie for DVD and Blu-ray release. Does it give us a tantalising taster of what a full Halo TV show might offer, or does it better serve as yet another warning of what happens when game and film mix?

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Halo 4: Castle Map Pack review

The Halo 4 approach to multiplayer add-ons has been low-key compared to the bombast of its more earthbound shooter peers. Call of Duty and Battlefield have offered up themed packages, zombies, co-operative bonuses and whatever else might entice players into picking up that all-important season pass.

With Halo 4, DLC studio Certain Affinity and main game developer 343 Studios have simply delivered maps, three at a time. It almost seems quaint, but it's an approach that has paid dividends. After a clunky start with the Crimson map pack, the game has benefited from maps that are classic in design but modern in pace, accommodating Halo's increasingly lengthy list of game modes and livening up the playlists with solid craftsmanship and some beautiful locations. That's a trend that continues in this, the last of the three DLC packs, and another victory of both substance and style.

Let's start with the best of the bunch, and indeed for my money one of the best Halo maps since the heyday of Halo 2. Daybreak is another in a long line of visually stunning Halo 4 maps, this one with an autumnal outdoors theme. Imagine if those Visit Scotland TV ads were populated by aggressive armoured Spartans shooting each other's faces off rather than ruddy-faced English tourists in chunky cardigans drinking malt whisky, and you're on the right track.

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Halo 4's Castle Map Pack dated for April

Adds three new maps and a six-on-six playlist for 800 MSP.

Halo 4's third multiplayer expansion, the Castle Map Pack, is slated for release on 8th April for 800 MS Points, Microsoft has announced. Access to the add-on is included with the Halo 4 War Games Map Pass.

Halo 4: Spartan Ops Season 1 review

343 got so much right when making Halo 4. Its campaign was muscular, restoring some of the intergalactic spectacle that had been lost in Bungie's more terrestrial final pair of games, while its multiplayer was smart enough to revise the well-worn template and even wiser to leave large parts of it well alone. What made Halo 4 something of a series highlight, though, was how this newborn collective of veteran developers had rekindled Halo's spark.

Not everything's been perfect, though. While Halo 4's Spartan Ops mode has hardly been a failure, it's certainly seen an otherwise safe pair of hands fumble what was once an exciting prospect. The first season of this episodic co-op campaign, split into halves of noticeably differing quality, has suffered from a friction between story and gameplay that's burnt through so much of its potential.

Set after the events of Halo 4's campaign, Spartan Ops follows the UNSC ship Infinity as it returns to the forerunner planet Requiem. The story is set up in the most spectacular - and presumably horrendously expensive - fashion, with exquisite CGI cut-scenes bookending the five playable chapters that make up each of the 10 episodes.

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Halo 4: Majestic Map Pack review

Halo 4: Majestic Map Pack review

Small is beautiful.

Reviewing a map pack is weird. It's like the old adage that says writing about music is like dancing about architecture. The mechanics, the gameplay, everything that we'd normally sink our teeth into is a known quantity. What we're really doing is reviewing a space and how people move through it - an abstract thing to pin down at the best of times. It's like town planning with heavy ordnance.

That being the case, the Crimson Map Pack, Halo 4's first selection of additional arenas, was a lot like a bland new town from the 1970s. Functional but devoid of personality, and probably full of roundabouts and shopping arcades. To stretch this dubious metaphor beyond breaking point, the Majestic Map Pack offers vibrant and lively old-fashioned villages with everything you need right on your doorstep. Which is another way of saying that these three maps offer the sort of compact and punchy close-quarters locations that made Halo such a multiplayer mainstay in the first place.

Let's start with Skyline, a tight, two-storey structure set at the base of a space tether construction site. It's downright tiny by current Halo 4 map standards, a jumble of ramps, stairs, short corridors and balconies all piled on top of each other. There's an elevator for rapid transit to the upper level, but you'll rarely need it. Those with the jetpack armour ability will be able to hop freely from one to the other in seconds, while agile players with an eye for parkour-style routes will quickly work out the scenery items that can act as stepping stones. Failing that, wherever you turn, there's always a way up or down.

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Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack out next week, details revealed

Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack out next week, details revealed

Three maps, two playlists and Infinity Rumble.

The Halo 4 Majestic Map pack releases on 25th February, Microsoft has announced.

The map pack was developed in collaboration with external developer Certain Affinity, which has a long history of working on Halo content for Microsoft.

Majestic includes three new small-to-medium sized maps designed for close-quarters gameplay, specifically small-team and free-for-all modes. The maps are Landfall, Monolith and Skyline.

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FeatureGames of 2012: Halo 4

It all comes flooding back.

For ten years Halo has been my favourite console game. I played the first one at university with my friends, as I imagine a lot of you did. After university I moved into my mum's new flat in Streatham, South London and bullied her, really, into not only getting the internet, but letting me run a ten-metre-long ethernet cable from my Xbox, along my bedroom floor, down the stairs and into the router by the kitchen, just so I could sign up to Xbox Live and play Halo 2 online.

Halo 4: Crimson Map Pack review

Halo 4: Crimson Map Pack review

You've got red on you.

The tempo has changed in the battle of the blockbuster shooters. Those big launch weekends still matter, of course - if only for the large, context-free figures they generate which can in turn be fed into the PR machine to generate yet more sales from gamers unwilling to miss out.

With retail sales drooping and digital on the rise, most are playing the long game, however. It's no longer simply about the number of players, it's about how long you can keep them playing - hence the steady evolution of downloadable add-ons from optional extra to ongoing service, with “seasons” of additional content you can sign up for in advance.

Halo 4 was clearly designed from the ground up to accommodate this trend. Despite being released just over one month ago, the game has already received five Spartan Ops co-operative “episodes”, and here's the first multiplayer map pack. Don't stop playing, pleads Microsoft. Never stop playing.

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Wii U sees healthy US launch, numbers in line with Wii

Wii U sees healthy US launch, numbers in line with Wii

But Xbox 360 outsells both combined.

The Wii U sold 425,000 units during its US launch week, Nintendo has revealed. That's just 5000 less than the Wii recorded six years ago.

November US figures revealed that Nintendo shifted 420,000 units of its ageing Wii over the whole month (down 51 per cent on last year).

But it was Microsoft who claimed the sales crown. The Xbox 360 sold 1.26 million units, a 25 per cent dip from 2011's sales but more than the Wii and Wii U combined (although, to be fair, the Wii U was only out for one week).

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Halo 4 map packs release date leaked - rumour

Halo 4 map packs release date leaked - rumour

UPDATE: Microsoft confirms they're coming in December, February and April.

Update: Microsoft has confirmed the months to be accurate, if not the exact days. Here is its official response:

"Halo 4 War Games Map Packs will become available in December, February and April. The exact release dates are pending the production schedule for each map pack, but we look forward to sharing more details in due time."

Original Story: Last month Microsoft revealed that Halo 4 would feature a War Games Pass that would grant access to three DLC packs, each containing three new multiplayer maps. It did not however say when these would be released.

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FeatureWhy are we stuck with games being released on a Friday?

An investigation into the origins, arguments and potential for change.

For as long as most folk remember, games have launched on Fridays in the UK and on Tuesday in the US. That's the way of things. Sometimes they converge for a glitzy worldwide launch but mostly they don't - they stick to the norm, and Europeans wait.

UK chart: Halo 4 top but sales lower than Halo 3, Reach

UK chart: Halo 4 top but sales lower than Halo 3, Reach

LittleBigPlanet Karting skids in 24th.

Xbox 360-exclusive Halo 4 is the new UK all-format chart number one, albeit with lower launch week sales than Halo 3 and Halo: Reach.

It did beat the launch week figures of last week's sales winner Assassin's Creed 3 - making it the UK's 18th biggest game launch ever.

It's worth remembering that Halo 4 launched last Tuesday, and thus benefited from an extra three days on sale.

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FeatureReclaiming Halo's spark

Halo 4's the ultimate in fan service - but is it enough to carry on Bungie's legacy?

What makes a blockbuster game series tick? Sifting through the jaw-dropping vistas of Halo 4, its glorious skyboxes peppered with ceaseless plasma fire, you might think that it's money, and an awful lot of it. The Master Chief's always fancied himself as the centrepiece of a spectacle that's the self-styled 21st century pop-culture alternative to Star Wars. It's only now, though, that the series properly evokes that true blockbuster sensation of subconsciously counting the thousands of pennies thrown at each explosion.

In the run up to the release of Halo 4, Microsoft's blockbuster Xbox 360 exclusive that launched this week, the question every Halo fan wanted to know was this: how good a job had 343 Industries, the studio set up by Microsoft to take on the beloved franchise after Bungie waved it goodbye with the release of Halo: Reach in 2010, done?

Microsoft has announced its Halo 4 Combat Tour promotion that rewards players real money just for playing Halo 4. It sounds exciting until you realise that you need to play the game for 140 hours in the remainder of November - that's over six hours a day - to receive 600 MS Points i.e. 5.10.

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry vs. Halo 4

The new benchmark for Xbox 360 visuals?

Ever wondered what would happen if Microsoft spent an absolute fortune in setting up its own elite internal studio and then made the best game it possibly could - where money is literally no object? Imagine if the Xbox platform holder set-up its own equivalent to Sony Santa Monica or Naughty Dog, an elite team with an unparalleled level of knowledge about the host console platform and the talent to get the most out of it. And what if this super-team was tasked with creating a new trilogy of games based on the most successful Xbox franchise of all-time?

"Don't waste your time on girlie games" - Master Chief delivers bizarre on-stage presentation at launch of Xbox in Israel

Microsoft has announced the Xbox 360 will launch in Israel seven years after it released in the US.

The console launches in Israel on 21st November, Microsoft announced at its Discovery conference in Tel Aviv yesterday. It comes complete with the Hebrew language, support for local currency, Xbox Live and Kinect.

The announcement was accompanied by a bizarre on-stage appearance by Halo 4 star Master Chief, videoed by attendees and slapped on YouTube.

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292 GAME stores open midnight tonight for Halo 4 launch

292 GAME stores up and down the land open at midnight tonight to sell Halo 4.

The flagship launch is at GAME Stratford (GAME Oxford Street is no more).

For midnight launches GAME stores open their doors around 11.45pm, but some may open earlier to help with trade-ins. Tills will be open from midnight, though. Stores will generally close around an hour later, but this all depends on customer demand.

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Halo 4 review

Halo 4 review

Truth or reconciliation?

It's the end of Halo 3 and the world has ended with a bang, not a whimper. More specifically, it's ended with our protagonist Master Chief riding a jeep off a flaming planet into the bay of a derelict escape ship: a catastrophic boom, not a whimper, perhaps. The aliens retreat, the flames turn to ember, the hoarse choir sets down its sheet music and space is, finally, still. Microsoft's flagship trilogy ostensibly drifts into history while developer Bungie, after working out its contractual obligations, wanders off to work on something new - something to prove to itself that Halo, the console shooter that changed everything, isn't the end of its story.

Master Chief, though, has nowhere to go. He has no home for Christmas, no lonely wife to reacquaint with, no overgrown garden to tend to, no son to teach how to throw a plasma ball. Beneath the rank and uniform he may be named John, but that ever-present helmet snuffed out the pilot light of his humanity long ago. He is a voiceless weapon, drawn in times of intergalactic crisis, sheathed when calamity has passed. So he's left in stasis, a dreamless sleep in a forgotten ship watched over by his only friend and companion, an AI girl called Cortana.

Five years pass - an age in video games - and in this time Activision's Modern Warfare series rises to prominence, knocking Halo down the most-played charts. A time of crisis; a time for an old hero to take back old ground. It's the start of Halo 4, and Cortana unsheathes Master Chief.

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Halo 4 devs scold Xbox Live sexism

"I'd like to think most of our players don't support this kind of behaviour."

Outside of private matches, Xbox Live multiplayer can be a hostile and abusive place. And when your brand is as intrinsic to Xbox Live multiplayer as Halo, there's a strong chance it will be Halo negatively associated with it.

Halo 4 War Games Pass revealed

Three map packs for 17 / 2000 MS Points.

Halo 4 developer 343 Industries and Microsoft just announced the Halo 4 War Games Pass, a season pass that saves players 15 per cent on future DLC.

The Halo 4 launch trailer, courtesy of the director of Fight Club

Microsoft has released the Halo 4 launch trailer, from Fight Club director David Fincher.

Scanned, as the three minute TV spot is called, is a moody blend of live action and CGI that touches on Master Chief's tough upbringing as an enhanced super soldier in training, and ends with a dash of action.

Fincher, who directed 2010's The Social Network, produced the clip. Special effects maestro Tim Miller directed. Throughout the pair threaten to show Master Chief's face, but as Halo franchise boss Frank O'Connor told Eurogamer last month, developer 343 Industries isn't ready to do that.

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This week on Outside Xbox

Synergising with Frank O'Connor, stalking Chet Faliszek, gaming's greatest roadtrips and more.

Greetings Eurogamer, Mike from Outside Xbox here. Hope you're having an excellent Saturday. Finest of all the days, Saturday. The weekend still full of promise - none of the Sunday malaise that comes from terrible television, nothing being open and the looming prospect of an early night in anticipation of Monday morning.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is more space soap than space opera

Microsoft's ambitious web-series starts off all Battlestar Galactica: Junior High.

Microsoft's never made any secret of its desire to turn Halo from a huge game series into a multimedia entertainment juggernaut. But ever since its famously overreaching attempt to strong-arm Hollywood into a film deal was batted away by movie execs - denying us the mouthwatering prospect of seeing Halo's universe realised by District 9 director Neill Blomkamp - the software giant has been relegated to meddling in the murky margins of promotional video.

In case one doesn't care about their country's future, they just might care about exclusive Xbox avatars. At least that's what going on in the US where Microsoft is offering a Halo 4 warrior avatar to anyone who watches at least three out of four presidential debates on Xbox Live's Election 2012 channel.

FeatureCan Halo 4 capture the series' spark?

343's made an authentic Halo game, but the jury's out whether it has an identity of its own.

It's Halo. I don't know why I was so surprised by that, but Halo 4 feels very much like another Halo game. There's the spongy movement, that wonderful combat loop and a sense of pomp and scale so grand you can't help but be carried away in its ridiculous sweep. There are shrill aliens, both squat and tall, and gunfire that sends multi-coloured traces across strange landscapes.

EGXSo, what's the Covenant doing in Halo 4?

Frank O'Connor answers the burning questions at Eurogamer Expo. Plus, nerfed jetpacks.

At the end of Halo 3 the Covenant, Halo's long-running alien bad guys, were thought disbanded and destroyed, with the Elites not exactly on the side of the human race, but not exactly against them.

Halo 4 campaign screenshots dazzle, offer gameplay clues

Halo 4 developer 343 Industries has unleashed a dazzling array of images from the game's campaign mode. Visually at least, it looks like the game won't disappoint.

Master Chief and Cortana are present in the new gallery, as is their ship, the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn. A number of Forerunners and other returning enemies such as Jackals.

The Chief appears to be armed with a new beam rifle, infused with Forerunner technology.

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Microsoft line-up announced for Eurogamer Expo

EGXMicrosoft line-up announced for Eurogamer Expo

Fable, Gears of War: Judgment and Dance Central 3 join Halo 4 and Forza Horizon on the show floor.

Right. Can't remember if we've mentioned this, but we're doing a show at Earls Court in London next week. It's called the Eurogamer Expo. (Bit pretentious?) Anyway, we hope some of you will come. To help make it more interesting, we've asked Microsoft to bring everything they have in development for Xbox 360 for you to play. They said yes.

So, if you come along you'll be able to sample Halo 4 Infinity Multiplayer, Forza Horizon, Fable: The Journey for Kinect, Gears of War: Judgment's OverRun multiplayer mode, and Dance Central 3, plus various Xbox Live games.

We're also told that "the Mountain Dew crew" will be distributing drinks to people throughout the show. Presumably they'll be distributing Mountain Dew, unless that label is just a massive coincidence.

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Congratulations, you have passed the test. You have clicked on a headline referencing a George Michael song for no obvious reason, which means that you are probably sufficiently engaged with Eurogamer to be interested in some of the other stuff going on in our house.

Halo 4 trailer shows off new UNSC weapons

Halo 4 trailer shows off new UNSC weapons

Sticky Detonator! Saw! Railgun! Dubstep!

Microsoft has put out a new Halo 4 trailer showcasing the UNSC weapons.

Weapons old and new are shown off in brief gameplay clips, but you get a decent sense of what they're all about.

Returning weapons include the Assault Rifle, the Magnum, the Battle Rifle, the DMR, the Rocket Launcher, the Shotgun, the Sniper Rifle and the Spartan Laser, and these all work as expected.

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Limited Edition Halo 4 Xbox 360 console makes noises

Can't think why you wouldn't want one.

Update: Microsoft's responded to Eurogamer, but isn't ready to talk about Halo 4 console yet. "Following the trailer reveal of Forward Unto Dawn at San Diego Comic Con this week, we will have more Halo 4 news to share over the coming days," an MS PR rep told us.

Halo 4 trailer shows new glimpses at multiplayer

A new Halo 4 trailer has popped up on Halo Waypoint, offering a few fresh seconds of multiplayer footage.

On show are the game's Regicide and Infinity Slayer modes, which were recently demoed to MLG players.

Multiplayer maps Haven, Adrift and Longbow are also showcased, which offer a mix of gameplay in both close-up and wide environments.

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Digital FoundryTech Analysis: Halo 4 at E3

Digital Foundry assesses the new graphics tech devised by 343 Industries.

After a few years of offering only the smallest hints at what it's been working on, 343 Industries finally came clean at this year's E3. No more CG trailers, no more offline rendered "in-engine" cinematics - instead, actual Halo 4 gameplay was revealed, and with it our first chance to get a look at the new tech operating in real-time on standard Xbox 360 hardware.

Microsoft reviews its E3 performance

Microsoft reviews its E3 performance

Xbox's Chris Lewis on keeping the core happy, glossing over Gears and why we didn't see new hardware.

24 hours on and both media and fans have had plenty of time to chew over Microsoft's 2012 E3 press conference, and it's fair to say that not all of the commentary has been entirely positive.

With that in mind, Eurogamer sat down with Chris Lewis, vice president of interactive entertainment for Xbox Europe, to find out how Microsoft itself views its performance and the ensuing public reaction.

"I think [the response has been] largely very positive," he said.

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FeatureE3 Reaction: Microsoft vs. Sony: The Console War Is Over, For Now

Both companies have new goals and the contrasts yesterday illustrated them.

That's Microsoft and Sony out of the way, then, and in immediate hindsight it's tempting to say that they opted for the same approach overall. Both conferences were relatively conservative affairs compared to the pageantry and showboating of previous years (apparently you don't know what you've got with a space poncho until it's gone), as both companies presumably played the strongest hand they could muster while keeping a lot in reserve for the inevitable unveiling of next-generation consoles in 2013. However, upon closer inspection there were a number of stark contrasts.

First glimpse at Halo 4 confirms Forerunners as enemy

First glimpse at Halo 4 confirms Forerunners as enemy

UPDATE: First campaign gameplay trailer added.

Microsoft kicked off its E3 conference with a first look proper at Halo 4's campaign, revealing the Forerunners as a new enemy as well as the introduction of new weaponry into the game.

A real-time demo was prefaced by an impressive and very expensive looking live action video that laid the foundations for the first game in 343's Reclaimer trilogy, seeing the ship UNSC Infinity being sent out to explore new worlds.

Things soon go awry, with the ship being sent plummeting to the surface of a new and lush looking alien planet, and Master Chief's there to pick up the pieces.

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Worldwide Xbox 360 sales hit 67m, 3m ahead of PS3

There have been 67 million Xbox 360s sold around the world, and 19 million Kinects, Microsoft has revealed.

PlayStation 3 has sold 63.9 million units worldwide.

Microsoft's chief Xbox marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi revealed the numbers in a company blog post.

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BBC News mistakes Halo UNSC logo for UN

UPDATE: BBC tells Eurogamer: "Very occasionally mistakes do happen."

UPDATE: The BBC has responded to its broadcast of a Halo logo during Thursday's News at One, admitting its mistake and apologising to viewers.

Halo 4 internal multiplayer beta gameplay video leaks

As video game leaks go, it's one of the strangest we've ever seen.

The below video, posted to YouTube by one Skid Kid, shows plenty of Halo 4 multiplayer gameplay. The only problem is, Skid Kid filmed off of what looks like a 20-year-old standard definition telly, playing a VHS, in a barn. Really.

Also, the music isn't safe for work, or your ears. We advise you turn your speakers down, or, preferably, off.

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More Halo 4 multiplayer details revealed

More Halo 4 multiplayer details revealed

Plus, first look at lavish $99 limited edition.

Fresh detail on how Halo 4 multiplayer works has made it's way out of Microsoft HQ.

As revealed by the publisher earlier today, the UNSC Infinity will serve as the game's multiplayer hub. You'll customise your character and manage your progress through the game's various different modes from the giant ship.

Among the modes on offer is the recently announced Spartan Ops co-op campaign. That will focus on various Infinity crew members and a new team of Spartans called Majestic Squad. New missions will be delivered on a weekly basis, along with regular cinematics offering some background narrative.

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Halo 4 live action web series Forward Unto Dawn launches this autumn

Halo 4 live action web series Forward Unto Dawn launches this autumn

Introduce a new character who ties in with the game.

A live action Halo web series will launch this autumn ahead of the release of Halo 4 on Xbox 360.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will play exclusively on Machinima and Microsoft's Halo Waypoint in the run up to the 6th November launch of the 343 Industries-developed sci-fi shooter.

It's the largest investment Microsoft has made into live action to date, according to Variety. Larger, even, than the Neill Blomkamp shorts that almost spawned the Halo movie seven years ago.

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Halo 4 release date 6th November

Halo 4 release date 6th November

UPDATE: Microsoft confirms.

UPDATE: Microsoft has confirmed that Halo 4 launches worldwide on 6th November.

"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," commented Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer.

"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."

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Halo 4 multiplayer details, Spartan Ops revealed

Halo 4 multiplayer details, Spartan Ops revealed

Weapon camping, respawn delay eradicated.

343 Industries has changed the way Halo's much-loved multiplayer works for Halo 4, and implemented a new mode called Spartan Ops.

Spartan Ops, according to the latest issue of Game Informer (via NeoGaf), replaces Firefight, which is no more. It works similarly to Call of Duty's Spec Ops mode, but with an episodic storyline played out over several months' worth of TV show season-style DLC. It will compare in scope and size to the single-player campaign, which is, like in previous Halo games, playable co-operatively with up to four players.

Spartan Points are used to buy armour, armour abilities and Spartan Ops missions. One new armour ability is Forerunner Vision, which allows you to see through walls and thus discourage camping. Returning armour abilities include the hologram, the jetpack, and active camo. Sprint is a default ability all players have access to at all times.

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343 confirms Halo 4 is native 720p

343 confirms Halo 4 is native 720p

Addresses perks concern.

Halo 4 runs at a native 720p resolution, developer 343 Industries has confirmed.

Halo franchise development director Frank O'Connor took to forum NeoGAF to answer questions about the upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive.

The Halo series has, since Halo 3 on Xbox 360, come in for a certain amount of stick for outputting in below-HD resolutions.

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Hello! Someone's smacked the industry with a stick and a bevvy of games have come flooding forth. There's a third game in a series that's actually the fifth, a fourth that's really the sixth and one that pretends that it's not a sequel at all (it's in fact the fifth). Games!

Halo 4 Preview: Remaster Chief

FeatureHalo 4 Preview: Remaster Chief

Bungie finished the fight, but 343 is ready to start it all over again.

It's Halo. Which says a lot and yet says very little at the same time. There are the same springy jumps, the same man-cannons and the maps with the same perfectly crafted symmetry. There are Spartans, there's a battle rifle and there's a grand, extra-terrestrial backdrop, the architecture as ever seemingly a result of Frank Lloyd Wright being kidnapped by some alien race and forced to design the flat steel that twists beneath beautiful skyboxes.

It's Halo, and the fourth mainline game is in essence the same we've all been playing since Combat Evolved in 2001. And that suggests, in one regard, that 343 hasn't dropped the ball for its first serious attempt at the series since Bungie departed.

A Halo without Bungie at one time seemed as inconceivable as a Mario without Nintendo - but 343's definition of the Halo experience, it turns out, isn't so very different from Bungie's after all. "Jamie Griesemer of Bungie once defined it as this golden triangle," franchise director Frank O'Connor tells us. "And while I'm not a game designer, I have my own personal definition of it.

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Halo 4 perks system introduced

"We're not chasing Call of Duty or Battlefield" insists 343 Industries.

Halo 4's newly unveiled multiplayer perks - which, for the first time in a Halo game will have an impact on the gameplay - aren't a result of 343 Industries chasing Call of Duty and Battlefield, the studio has said.

Microsoft moves to seize fake Halo 4 beta website

Microsoft has moved to seize the Halo 4 beta website it warned fans was a fake.

Microsoft has filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum against Halo4beta.net, which 343 Industries' David Ellis said on his Twitter page was a fake.

The website is now offline, but, as Fusible points out, that won't stop the NAF transferring the name over to Microsoft.

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Microsoft: Xbox 360 exclusives need

Microsoft: Xbox 360 exclusives need "quality" not quantity

Bemoans Sony "selling old franchises with HD remakes".

Xbox 360-exclusive games need to have "quality and impact", Microsoft Studios exec Phil Spencer has insisted.

Creating Xbox 360-only games and IP is about more than the "number of releases in a year", Spencer continued, explaining Microsoft's strategy on securing exclusives for the platform.

"Creating core IP, as many first-and third-parties have seen over the years, isn't an easy thing," Spencer told GameInformer (via GamesIndustry.biz). "I went through the process of creating Gears with Epic and I know the sweat, time, and effort that went into it."

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Bungie's message to Halo fans

Give Microsoft "creative flexibility".

Bungie has urged Halo fans to give Microsoft "creative flexibility" with the franchise as it formally hands over the reins to new custodian 343 Industries.

FeatureBungie bids Halo farewell

Eric Osborne looks back at 10 years of Master Chief.

It's a big year for Bungie. Not only does it celebrate its 20th birthday but, with the impending release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, it's also formally signing off custodianship of Master Chief to 343 Industries.

Microsoft denies "milking" Halo

Remake "a project of passion not business".

There used to be breathing space between Halo games (Halo 1 2001, Halo 2 2004, Halo 3 2007), but in recent years Microsoft has been flinging the IP at us: Halo Wars 2009, Halo 3: ODST 2009 and Halo: Reach 2010.

Today's Top Trailers - Day 3

FeatureToday's Top Trailers - Day 3

Our pick of E3's videos, good and bad.

In which, as you'll know if you read yesterday's roundup, Eurogamer's UK team picks their favourite E3 trailers of the last 24 hours. So who are today's winners and losers?

(NB: Anyone sitting at home watching Starhawk videos instead of standing in an L.A. bar having cocktails three feet away from Reggie Fils-Aime already knows the answer to this question.)

Top of the Pops

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Today's Top Trailers - Day 2

FeatureToday's Top Trailers - Day 2

The best and worst of E3's videos so far.

It's only day two of E3 and already the internet is awash with trailers. In fact, you'd have a job to watch the whole lot of them before Gamescom kicks off.

So to save you a bit of time, Eurogamer's top analysts (i.e. anyone too pregnant or knowledgeable about how the website actually works to go to E3) have picked the best trailers released in the last 24 hours. And the worst, just for good measure. So what do you reckon to our choices?

Top of the Pops

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Microsoft unveils Halo 4 at E3

Microsoft unveils Halo 4 at E3

With a shiny but short teaser trailer.

It's official: a new instalment in the Halo series is on the way.

The announcement was made at the climax of Microsoft's E3 2011 press conference. Bossman Don Mattrick took to the stage right at the end to round up what had been seen so far and to introduce a teaser trailer.

It showed a red cloud floating in space and a bit of fiery smoke. Then Master Chief was revealed, blasting his way around a space station in zero gravity. There was just time to see him drifting towards some kind of giant circle of light before it was all over.

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