It starts December 17th. Win an amazing Ford F-150 or a spot in a future Halo game.
Full details in the press release below.
Virgin Gaming, Xbox 360 and 343 Industries are joining forces to launch the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” on Xbox LIVE starting Dec. 17, bringing gamers the biggest and most accessible free-to-enter “Halo” tournament in the world.
Starting today, players can register for the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” by visiting www.halo4infinitychallenge.com (localized registration sites available on Dec. 12). Launching on Dec. 17, the free-to-enter tournament will track your personal score in War Games and the number of Spartan Ops chapters you complete on global leaderboards, giving players of different preferences and skill levels all a shot at the more than 2,800 prizes. For the War Games leaderboard winner, the grand prize will be a UNSC-themed, V8-powered 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor truck designed by 343 Industries, and for the Spartan Ops winner, the grand prize will be an appearance in a future “Halo” game.
During the qualifier phase (Dec. 17 – Jan. 10), players will need to climb the ranks of the global leaderboards by competing in either the Spartan Ops or War Games leaderboard. After the qualifier phase, players will be tiered into three groups (based on their results on the qualifier phase leaderboards) and will enter the finals phase (Jan. 12 – Jan. 19). In addition, players can also participate in Weekly Challenges found on Halo Waypoint at http://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/intel/challenges for a chance to win great prizes.
During the finals, the leaderboards will reset and prizes will be awarded to the top performers in each tier. While terrific prizes are available within all three tiers, the grand prizes will be offered exclusively for those that have battled their way to the top tier.
Comprised of three brand new multiplayer maps (Wreckage, Harvest and Shatter), the “Halo 4” Crimson Map Pack will launch on Dec. 10 on Xbox LIVE for 800 MS points (or at no additional charge for those that purchased the “Halo 4” Map Pass or “Halo 4” Limited Edition).
Timed just before the launch of the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge,” the new map pack gives players more reason than ever to stay online and prepare for the upcoming competition by exploring these stunning new battlegrounds.
SPARTAN OPS SEASON CONTINUES IN JANUARY
Clearing the way for the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” and the “Halo 4” Crimson Map Pack, Spartan Ops will go on a mid-season break starting Dec. 10. During the week of Dec. 10, 343 Industries will re-enter five chapters from the first half of the season into Matchmaking as a “Best of Spartan Ops” compilation. From Dec. 17 – Jan. 14, episodes 1-5 will be re-entered into Matchmaking (one episode per week) to support the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge,” and allow anyone who missed or wants to replay a previous chapter to easily find teammates online. (Check out http://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/intel/spartanops for more information.)
The second half of Spartan Ops Season One will resume later in January with brand new episodes, chapters, locations and maps. Be sure to tune into the Spike TV 10th Annual Video Game Awards, live on Spike TV, Dec. 7 at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT for more information and an exclusive first-look at the continuation of Spartan Ops Season One. The Spike TV Video Game Awards will simulcast on MTV 2, MTV Tr3s, Xbox LIVE, spike.com and gametrailers.com.
The first of three Halo 4 map packs is coming Dec 10th for 800 points. Here are the details:
Wreckage: Wreckage is the manifestation of the chaos of war. A medium-sized, asymmetrical map great for accommodating a wide range of objective-based game modes including King of the Hill and Capture the Flag, it is a ravaged environment of crashed debris, where the surrounding destruction creates complex paths perfect for throwing off your opponents, or testing the limits of your Warthog. This devastated landscape provides plenty of cover, and tons of nooks and crannies are at your disposal while fighting for your turn to become King. Wreckage supports up to 16 players in Infinity Slayer and up to 12 players in a variety of other modes, including Capture the Flag, King of the Hill and Oddball.
Harvest: Harvest is a canon concept brought to life – the doomed agricultural planet where humans first made contact with the Covenant. A small to mid-size map, Harvest is ideal for Capture the Flag. Here, you’ll need to get creative to effectively use light vehicles which are limited to the exterior pathways and can’t get into the bases, making this map perfect for infantry firefights and face-to-face skirmishes. Snipers will also feel right at home; long sightlines are broken up by great cover and hiding spots. Harvest allows up to 12 players to face off in Capture the Flag, Infinity Slayer, King of the Hill, SWAT and Slayer Pro.
Shatter: Shatter is themed around natural crystalline surfaces and the huge UNSC factories mining them. This large, symmetrical map is a playground for the Warthog and Mantis – its open pathways make it easy to get around, whether on foot or in vehicles. Shatter is a great fit for Dominion and the new game type Extraction. For some close-quarters face-time, escape the open landscape and duck into a mining facility, or slip through a doorway and hunt unsuspecting Spartans. This map has variety for different types of players. Shatter enables multiplayer mayhem for up to 16 players in Infinity Slayer and up to 12 players in other modes, such as Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Dominion and Extraction.
Available this December on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft points, the Crimson Map Pack is the first of three upcoming “Halo 4” War Games add-ons, and will include eight all-new Achievements worth a total of 250 Gamerscore. Players who purchase the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass* or “Halo 4” Limited Edition will receive access to all three map packs as they become available in December, February and April at a 15 percent savings versus purchasing them individually based on ESRP.
Crimson Map Pack owners will have exclusive access to a single premium playlist that will only feature the new maps and will be the only place players can enjoy unique 6 vs. 6 matchmaking experiences, the new game type “Extraction,” and a wide range of voting combinations for different maps and modes.
Eager for a first look at the brand-new multiplayer maps? Be sure to check out the trailer and first screenshots of the Crimson Map Pack on Halo Waypoint today.
In addition to the Crimson Map Pack, 343 Industries today unveiled “Extraction,” a new game type that will be introduced to “Halo 4” online matchmaking day and date with the map pack on Dec. 10:
Extraction: Extraction is a 5 vs. 5 objective-based game type where opposing Spartan teams are tasked with extracting assets from various sites around the map. Once a team has found a site and is in position, they must plant their beacon and protect it from the opposing team while the extraction process occurs. If the defending team remains in control of the beacon, they receive one point, however if the opposing team overtakes the site before extraction is complete, the point goes to them. Once a site has been extracted, a new site becomes available. The first team to extract five points wins.
* Content includes “Crimson, Majestic & Castle Map Packs” plus 2 in-game helmets and an emblem at a special value. If you own this Map Pass, access map packs thru the Halo 4 in-game store. Do not download from Xbox LIVE Marketplace or you will be charged twice. Halo 4 game, 4GB storage, & Xbox LIVE Gold membership (each sold separately) required to use this content. (Map Pass included with Halo 4 Limited Edition.)
Yup…it’s big. How big? The “Halo” saga eclipses the biggest movie launch in U.S. box office history; on track to reach over $300 million in global sales in the first week. Full details just went out in the press release:
In a year when Hollywood is rolling out its biggest blockbusters, one video game has eclipsed them all. “Halo 4” is on track to reach $300 million in global sales in the first week, making it the biggest “Halo” launch in history and the biggest entertainment launch of the year to date. In the first 24 hours of its release, “Halo 4” garnered more than $220 million worldwide, eclipsing the record for the biggest day-one opening in U.S. box office history, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” and the biggest movie of 2012, “The Avengers” – based on U.S. sales alone.
The launch of “Halo 4” propelled lifetime sales for the “Halo” franchise beyond $3.38 billion, cementing its status as one of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world. “Halo 4” also shattered the record for the largest number of players in the history of the “Halo” franchise, with over 4 million players in the first five days. Users spent a total of 31.4 million hours playing “Halo 4,” pushing the total number of gameplay hours across the “Halo” franchise well beyond the five billion mark.
“We’re thrilled that ‘Halo 4’ has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Thanks to the millions of fans worldwide who helped make this another record-breaking launch for the ‘Halo’ franchise, ‘Halo 4’ is kicking off a strong holiday season and has become the must-have blockbuster experience of the year.”
“Consumer demand and excitement for ‘Halo 4’ is even greater than we anticipated,” said Tony Bartel, GameStop president. “Day-one sales of ‘Halo 4’ make it the biggest ‘Halo’ launch in GameStop history and the biggest game launch on any platform so far this year in our stores.”
As further testament to the unprecedented excitement surrounding the launch of “Halo 4,” Microsoft announced that online content for the live-action digital series, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” has generated more than 46 million total views to date, including 39 million on Machinima.com’s YouTube channel alone.
Hailed by NBC News as “breathtaking, heart-breaking and awe-inspiring,”1 “Halo 4” has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012,2 and sparked a worldwide celebration when it released on Nov. 6. More than 10,000 retail stores in more than 40 countries worldwide, including Seattle, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Sydney, opened their doors at midnight to commemorate the highly anticipated return of the Master Chief. In London, a massive 50-foot illuminated glyph symbolizing the new threat in “Halo 4” flew over the River Thames, marking one of the largest objects ever to be flown by helicopter as a lighting art performance. Additionally, for one day only, Microsoft transformed the European country of Liechtenstein into a replica of the “Halo” universe, signifying the first time a brand has taken over an entire country for an entertainment launch.
Developed by Microsoft studio 343 Industries exclusively for the Xbox 360, “Halo 4” is the next blockbuster installment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. “Halo 4” continues the story of the series’ iconic hero the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe.
The game takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it – setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.
3 Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.
4 Savings based on estimated retail prices. Actual retailer prices may vary. Content includes “Crimson, Majestic & Castle Map Packs” plus 2 in-game helmets and an emblem at a special value. If you own this Map Pass, access map packs thru the Halo 4 in-game store. Do not download from Xbox LIVE Marketplace or you will be charged twice. Halo 4 game, 4GB storage, & Xbox LIVE Gold membership (each sold separately) required to use this content. (Map Pass included with Halo 4 Limited Edition.)
Join many members of the Xbox and 343 teams tonight for the launch of Halo 4 at the Microsoft Store at University Village in Seattle. The event starts at 8pm and will feature 16 game stations, competitive multiplayer for fans against 343 developers, and DJ Iris providing live music, the first 1,000 attendees will receive gift bags and everyone will have photo opportunities with the Master Chief. Outside the Microsoft Store, attendees are welcome to tour our mobile “Halo” museum, featuring original franchise artwork while waiting for the midnight launch.
In other parts of the world, we’ve got more than 30 global launch events planned in major cities worldwide, including Seattle, Paris, Berlin, London, Toronto, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai and Sydney.
In Europe, more than 700 midnight openings are planned, including a spectacular stunt the night of Nov. 5 between the O2 Stadium and Tower Bridge on the Thames in London. In Germany, fans will receive hands-on time with “Halo 4” and view a screening of the complete “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” series in Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt. Meanwhile, in Paris, “Halo 4” will be showcased during the Paris Games Week, the biggest gaming fair in France, which is set to draw more than 200,000 visitors this year.
Elsewhere, more than 200 EB Games stores in Australia will be open for midnight madness, with flagship events in major capital cities Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. EB Games in Auckland, New Zealand will also host the biggest Midnight Madness event Kiwis have ever seen. “Halo” fans in Canada will be transported aboard the decks of the UNSC Infinity to enlist for combat training and heroic appearances at Yonge & Dundas Square in the heart of downtown Toronto.
The team over in Europe kicked off the Halo 4 launch in a BIG WAY
Watch the video above as they took 70 unsuspecting guests, from super-fans to media to Liechtenstein yesterday for an Xbox 360 hosted “Halo 4” event.
In a ground-breaking world first, Xbox 360 recreated elements of the “Halo” right here ‘on earth’ amidst the peaceful mountains and sleepy byways of the Principality of Liechtenstein.
For one night only, Liechtenstein’s iconic Gutenberg Castle became an imposing military fort while a working mine become a war-torn battleground. Cinematic set builds, hundreds of bespoke props and pyrotechnics combined to bring a series of highly theatrical, ‘Halo 4’-inspired experiences to life for guests in vivid detail and in person. It looks like an amazing time.
343 Industries has announced the ‘Halo 4’ War Games Pass.
Here are the details from the press release that just went out:
With the highly anticipated launch of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6 less than two weeks away, Microsoft and 343 Industries today unveiled that there will be more content to come in the months post-launch, and the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass is your ticket to getting it all at a 15 percent discount. Stoking the excitement for launch, 343 Industries also premiered the gameplay launch trailer for “Halo 4, available now on Halo Waypoint.
Retailing for $24.99 USD2 (2,000 Microsoft Points), the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass confirms your access to three War Games map packs as they become available in December, February and April, and represents a savings of more than 15 percent versus purchasing the packs individually. In addition, Map Pass purchasers will receive two bonus in-game helmets, as well as a unique in-game emblem.
Exploring new worlds and wonders, all three Map Packs provide classic “Halo” combat and exciting ways to experience the new feature-set of “Halo” Infinity Multiplayer. Descriptions and tentative release dates are as follows:
Crimson Map Pack (December release timeframe)
Maps: Wreckage, Harvest, Shatter
Description: Witness the chaos of a clash of civilizations in Wreckage, with its blend of claustrophobic spaces and dangerous exposures and venture into the human colony environs of Harvest, and explore a human foray on an alien moon in Shatter.
Majestic Map Pack (February release timeframe)
Maps: Landfall, Monolith, Skyline
Description: Landfall’s emphasis is on infantry battles against a glittering ocean on a distant world, while Monolith exposes you to the naked vacuum of space – and the firepower of opposing teams, and Skyline’s distinctly industrial feel provides new challenges in somewhat familiar, but occasionally confined spaces.
Castle Map Pack (April release timeframe)
Maps: Daybreak, Outcast, Perdition
Description: Daybreak is set in a military facility against the backdrop of an idyllic mountain range, while Outcast plunges you into the warrens, canyons and arches of an alien edifice, and Perdition takes players into the heart of an urban sprawl, with tactical speed and situational awareness its key features.
Also included in the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass are two unique in-game helmets (‘Scanner’ and ‘Strider’) that feature new geometry, and an exclusive in-game emblem (‘Falcon’). The “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass is included as part of the Halo 4 Limited Edition.
At the 343 Industries Panel at Comic Con today we have announced full details around the “Halo 4” LE Console Bundle and controller coming this fall.
Here is the official press release:
Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle & Accessories Revealed at San Diego Comic-Con
Today in front of thousands of “Halo” fans in attendance at San Diego Comic-Con, Microsoft and 343 Industries revealed the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” console bundle – the perfect celebration of the return of the Master Chief in “Halo 4.” The limited edition bundle and accessories showcase a never-before-seen unique design inspired by the game and include everything you need to bring the “Halo” mythology right into your living room.
The Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” console bundle is available for pre-order today and will arrive in stores with the launch of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6, 2012. This must-have bundle contains an exclusive, custom-designed console and two exclusive controllers inspired by the game, a standard edition copy of “Halo 4,” a wired headset, a massive 320GB hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi, and Xbox LIVE tokens for exclusive “Halo 4” in-game and avatar marketplace downloadable content. The “ring of light” on the console, as well as the Xbox Guide button of the controller will showcase a glowing blue color to match the overall “Halo 4” color scheme.
As the definitive console bundle of 2012, the limited edition console bundle offers an incredible value for fans who want to enjoy the immersive world of “Halo 4.” The Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” bundle is available through your favorite retailer while supplies last, priced at $399.99 (U.S. ERP).
In addition to the limited edition console bundle, Microsoft and 343 Industries are releasing a standalone Xbox 360 “Halo 4” Limited Edition Wireless Controller. The graphics on this controller will feature the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) emblem on a dark grey translucent body, and will include an Avatar T-shirt as exclusive downloadable content. The “Halo 4” Limited Edition Wireless controller will also feature the “Halo 4” glowing blue Xbox Guide button. This product will be available by Nov. 6, 2012 and is priced at $59.99 (U.S. ERP).
Last week in San Francisco, we held a special media event to show off some upcoming Xbox 360, Kinect for Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE Arcade, Games for Windows and Windows Phone titles. Keep any eye on the Inside Xbox channel on the Xbox 360 dashboard for the video coverage that will go up later today. Until then, here are some of the highlights from the press release:
“Halo 4” (343 Industries) – Get an exciting first look at this year’s most anticipated blockbuster, “Halo 4,” through a behind-the-scenes video on HaloWaypoint.com. Launching worldwide this Holiday, “Halo 4” takes the iconic franchise in a bold new direction with the return of Master Chief, and the beginning of a new saga.
“Forza Horizon” (Playground Games) – “Forza Horizon” is a fast-paced, pick-up-and-play racing game and the newest entry in the Forza Motorsport franchise. Available this Fall, the game is being created in partnership with acclaimed racing development studio Playground Games.
“Forza Motorsport 4” (Turn 10 Studios) – Available this Spring, the Porsche Expansion Pack for “Forza Motorsport 4” will contain 30 modern and classic Porsche vehicles fromthe iconic German manufacturer, seven of which are new to the “Forza” franchise.
“Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City” (Slant Six Games, Capcom) – Program the Nemesis and unleash devastating attacks on your opposing squad in an exclusive fifth online competitive multiplayer versus battle available only for Xbox 360.
“Gears of War 3” (Epic Games) – The curb-stomping fun continues with the release of the “Forces of Nature” map pack for “Gears of War 3” on March 27. Included in the game’s Season Pass or available for 800 Microsoft Points, “Forces of Nature” will feature five maps, new characters, new weapon skins and a 250 Gamescore. Also, starting March 27, “Gears of War 3” will be available through Games on Demand.
“Dragon’s Dogma” (Capcom) – Explore the woodlands surrounding a collapsed fortress and battle against its fearsome inhabitants, including a monstrous Cyclops, a vicious Chimera and a savage Drake Dragon. Additionally, purchasers of the Xbox 360 version of “Dragon’s Dogma” will be able to redeem a token and download the “Resident Evil 6” demo globally on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace 60 days earlier than on any other platform, starting July 3.
“Darksiders II” (THQ/Vigil Games) – Explore non-playable character gameplay interaction with exclusive fiction reveals from the vast Makers Realm in “Darksiders II.” Fans who pre-order the game will receive a complimentary upgrade to the Limited Edition, or can pick up the Collector’s Edition.
Kinect on Xbox 360
“Fable: The Journey” (Lionhead Studios) – From the creative geniuses at Lionhead, “Fable: The Journey” is a whole new way to experience the deep storyline, heart-pounding action and picturesque world of Albion. “Fable: The Journey” launches this Fall on Kinect for Xbox 360.
“Mass Effect 3” (BioWare, Electronic Arts) – Step into the role of Commander Shepard and use voice controls to direct squad mates during battle and command weapon selection to quickly engage in combat. “Mass Effect 3” supports dozens of commands to interact with the world and the characters, without pausing the action.
“Kinect Star Wars” (Microsoft Studios) – In “Kinect Star Wars,” available April 3, Star Wars fans can physically hone their Jedi skills, wield the power of the Force in their hands, pilot iconic ships and vehicles, rampage as a vicious rancor monster and dance with iconic Star Wars characters.
“Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13” (Electronic Arts) – Featuring a more immersive Masters Tournament experience as well as Kinect for Xbox 360 integration, the world’s number one golf video game is back with “Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13.”
“Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor” (Capcom) – Launching on June 19, fight side by side with your comrades and retake Manhattan Beach from the enemy. Defend your infantry and blast every VT that crosses your path!
“Kinect Rush: A Disney•Pixar Adventure” (Microsoft Studios) – Pixar fans will be able to scan themselves into an avatar based on their favorite character from Disney•Pixar’s "Up" and venture into the vast interior of the Spirit of Adventure. Players will also team up with characters from “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Cars” and “Toy Story” to solve puzzles and uncover secrets.
“Dance Central 2” (Harmonix)– Experience new add-on songs from electro-pop sensations LMFAO, including their hit single “Party Rock”.
“Kinect Sports: Season Two” (Rare Studios, Big Park) – Launching worldwide on April 3, the all-new basketball game add-on content puts players’ basketball skills to the test by shooting, passing, and scoring with the new activities.
Xbox LIVE Arcade
“Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition” (4J Studios, Mojang) – Coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade in Spring 2012, “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition” brings the global PC phenomenon to gamers for the first time on any console platform.
“Wreckateer” (Iron Galaxy) – “Wreckateer” uses Kinect for Xbox 360 to put players in control of a massive castle-wrecking ballista. With the help of Wreck and Tinker, players can travel the land and destroy 60 castles infested with goblins using six magical projectiles.
“Fable Heroes” (Lionhead Studios) –“Fable Heroes” delivers a fresh spin on the “Fable” franchise with an action-packed hack-and-slash adventure on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
“Trials Evolution” (RedLynx/Ubisoft) – Coming soon are new “Trials Evolution” maps in the next dimension of the smash-hit, award-winning “Trials HD.”
“Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD” (Robomodo, Activision) – Activision’s “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD” for Xbox LIVE Arcade takes the best elements of “Tony Hawk Pro Skater” and “Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2” and upgrades them with sharp visuals and fresh content.
“South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge” (South Park Digital Studios, Other Ocean Interactive) – Scott Tenorman is back and he wants revenge! Play multiplayer with Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny to take on Tenorman and his army of Ginger robots before they destroy South Park!
“Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” (Hidden Path Entertainment, Valve) – The all-new “Demolition” mode in “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” delivers a fast-paced game experience made up of tight small maps to get into the action quickly.
“Quantum Conundrum” (Airtight Games, Square Enix) – Enter a new dimension – the heavy dimension – in the latest environment-bending feature in the quirky, first-person puzzle game “Quantum Conundrum” from Square Enix and Airtight Games.
“Bloodforge” (Climax Studios) – “Bloodforge” combines devastating melee, ranged and magical attacks to deliver a fast-paced, bloodthirsty, brutal combat experience available exclusively on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
“Deadlight” (Tequila Works) – “Deadlight,” a brand new experience for Xbox LIVE Arcade, is a narrative-driven puzzle platformer set in the post-apocalyptic 80s devastated by a zombie epidemic.
“Diabolical Pitch” (Grasshopper Manufacture) – Available beginning April 4, Kinect for Xbox 360 turns living rooms into playing fields and the “Diabolical Pitch” is the main attraction.
“Joe Danger: The Movie” (Hello Games) – Race jetpacks against hoverboards and skis against skidoos in all-new multiplayer modes in “Joe Danger: The Movie.”
Xbox 360 Hardware
Xbox 360 Kinect Family Bundle – The Xbox 360 Kinect Family Bundle features everything a family needs to get started playing together. Available globally beginning February 28 for $299, the bundle includes a limited edition all-white Xbox 360 4GB console, white Kinect sensor, white Xbox 360 wireless controller, “Kinect Sports,” “Kinect Adventures,” and a three month subscription to Xbox LIVE Gold—the complete Xbox 360 experience.
“Microsoft Flight” (Microsoft Studios) – Available to download for free at www.MicrosoftFlight.com, “Microsoft Flight” is a new Windows PC game that lets players jump into the thrill of flight with no special hardware or past experience. This Spring, fans will be able to purchase the Journey to Alaska Pack, the second in a series of expansion packs for the game with over 1.2 million square miles of captivating scenery, additional missions and new aircraft.
“Carcassone” (Microsoft Studios) –The award-winning tile-based board game “Carcassonne” is coming to Windows Phone! With the online multiplayer, Xbox LIVE achievements, leaderboards and more, this game never gets old.
“Civilization Revolution” (2K) – Award winning Sid Meier’s “Civilization Revolution” is coming to Windows Phone! Build, Discover, Rule the world.
“DODONPACHI” (CAVE)– An original shooter by Arcade veteran CAVE is arriving for Windows Phone. Can you handle EVAC Industries’ Maximum Bullet Simulator.
“GeoDefense Swarm” (Microsoft Studios) –The fast-paced tower defense game “GeoDefense Swarm” for Windows Phone gives the power to obliterate a horde of vibrant, vector-styled enemies with multiple weapons of choice.
“Gerbil Physics” (Microsoft Studios) – In “Gerbil Physics,” a physics-based puzzle game that blows up buildings made of gerbils for Windows Phone, it’s all about adorable destruction.
“Pinball FX2” (Microsoft Studios) – “Pinball FX2” for Windows Phone features new tables and all-new features including a state-of-the-art physics model and a connection to your Xbox 360 “Pinball FX2” scores.
“Pirates!” – Available now on Windows Phone, Sid Meier’s “Pirates!” is an exciting high-seas adventure overflowing with intense pirate action and a treasure chest of gameplay riches!
“Pro Evolution Soccer 2012” (Konami) – This spring, the unrivalled and award-winning football simulation from Konami is entering a new season on Windows Phone!
“Shoot 1UP!” (Microsoft Studios) –This Spring, an armada of ships is coming to Windows Phone in “Shoot 1UP.”
“Wordament” (Microsoft Studios) – In the world of “Wordament” for Xbox LIVE, Windows Phone word searchers across the whole Internet compete on the same board, in real-time, to get the highest score.
If you are a Halo Reach fan and you have a iOS or Android device, you’ll want to download the free Halo Waypoint app now available. Previously available only on Windows Phone, the team at 343 Industries has now made an official mobile app available on both iOS and Android.
I had the opportunity to attend a preview of Halo Fest last night where 343 Industries let loose a ton of news to kick off PAX Prime.
Here are the highlights:
New “Halo: Anniversary” Maps
Announced and playable today at Halo Fest are two stunningly reimagined battlefields and a brand new Firefight map for “Halo: Anniversary”: Timberland, Prisoner and Installation 04.
· TIMBERLAND –Timberland is “Halo: Anniversary’s” beautifully reimagined multiplayer map from “Halo PC,” set in the classically alpine environment so familiar to “Halo.” Once serving as a watch point for the immense relay complex below, the monitoring outposts nestled atop this ridge became a staging ground for human forces during their time on Installation 04. Toward the end of the conflict, a Covenant assault brought the marines here to a tragic end. Timberland is a tree-covered valley, sporting undulating hills, surging rivers, and a terrain perfect for large-scale vehicle mayhem. (8 – 16 players)
· PRISONER –The return of “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” Prisoner delivers a claustrophobic and frenetic multiplayer experience now elaborately recreated for “Halo: Anniversary.” These spinning confinement platforms are a testament to the technological prowess of the Forerunners. In the event of a security breach, the facility’s suborbital location and frigid temperature were thought to be able to keep any threat at bay, but it appears those plans were… optimistic. Prisoner is a multi-level facility, with tightly-woven corridors and many bridges and ramps, perfect for the chaos of close-range combat. (2 – 8 players)
· INSTALLATION 04 – Installation 04 brings fans back to one of the most iconic environments in “Halo’s” history, the base of an enormous Forerunner spire from “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” campaign mission “Halo,” now stunningly returning in “Halo: Anniversary’s” Firefight mode. Set on one of the many cliff sides of Alpha Halo, this beacon served as a rendezvous point for survivors of the Covenant attack on the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. These survivors, including the legendary Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, were forced to stave off numerous Covenant attacks until rescue finally came. Installation 04 is a familiar precipice studded with ancient Forerunner structures which make a perfect defensive position against an invading alien enemy and marks the first Firefight experience to include ally AI players who will defend the installation alongside you. (1 – 4 players)
Previously announced, playable fan favorite maps also made their US debut at Halo Fest including:
· DAMNATION –A fan favorite multiplayer battleground from “Halo: Combat Evolved,” Damnation is impressively brought back to life with amazing detail. As the primary satellite of the Unggoy home world, Buwan provides the perfect environment for this massive Covenant hydro-facility used to power and refuel a variety of capital ships. Though still operational via automated subsystems, the station was abandoned shortly after the breaking of the Covenant. Damnation is an asymmetrical, multi-tiered complex, replete with long lines of sight and tightly-crafted choke points. (2 – 8 players)
· BEAVER CREEK – The classic “Halo 2” multiplayer map Beaver Creek returns, tracing its roots back all the way to “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” legendary Battle Creek. The rocky warrens of this part of Halo provide the ideal environment for an array of impressive telemetry clusters. These spires’ synchronization conduits ensure that the ring’s translocation grid is always fully operational. Beaver Creek’s symmetrical bases in a small, creek-fed canyon are excellent for both free-for-all and team-based game types. (2 – 8 players)
Each of the competitive multiplayer maps that ship with “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” will include two variants which let players experience maps in both their classic layout as well as a modified, reimagined version with changes that account for the dynamic gameplay created by “Halo: Reach’s”Armor Abilities. For a sneak peek at the explosive multiplayer action that awaits, fire up Halo Waypoint or visit HaloWaypoint.com to see a new behind-the-scenes feature from 343 showcasing five of the seven beautifully reimagined maps included in “Halo: Anniversary.”
Experience “Halo” like Never Before in Immersive Steroscopic 3D
For the first time, fans will be able to experience the original “Halo” campaign in a whole new dimension as they step onto the legendary ring world in stereoscopic 3D. Using a custom made top-and-bottom 3D technology, 3D-TV owning fans will be able to experience the amazingly remastered “Halo: Anniversary” in a more immersive experience than ever before. Attendees can see this first at the immersive LG Cinema 3D Experience at Halo Fest.
Upcoming “Halo: Reach” Title Update
The team at 343i has been hard at work on an update for “Halo: Reach” both to bring new experiences to fans as well as address longstanding feedback from the community. The most noticeable change in the works? The return of the wicked, deadly and wildly fun “Halo: Combat Evolved” Magnum pistol to “Halo: Anniversary” and “Halo: Reach” multiplayer gameplay. An addition that will be supported in special, classic playlists, the original Magnum pistol is sure to rekindle some of the madness and carnage players reveled in a decade ago.
In addition, the update, which is targeted for release in October, will introduce several multiplayer fixes for “Halo: Reach” fans have been clamoring for. Armor Lock now absorbs a level of damage based on the amount of remaining energy a player has, diminishing its effectiveness. Active Camo’s duration has been reduced and the ability to block sword attacks using any weapon other than another sword has been disabled. And for fans of precision firing, reticle “bloom” is now configurable, delivering increased accuracy when firing in rapid succession.
This update will also enable “Halo: Reach” players using an Xbox 360 4GB console without a HDD to utilize Campaign and Firefight matchmaking which previously required a HDD.
“Forza Motorsport 4” and the “Halo 4” Warthog
The developers at Turn 10 Studios, creators of the highest-rated racing franchise of this generation and 343i have partnered together to create an incredible “Halo” fan experience with the inclusion of the iconic Warthog in “Forza Motorsports 4’s” breathtaking new Autovista experience. Designed to showcase and offer an unprecedented interactive experience with some of the world’s most iconic vehicles, Autovista lets players walk around, interact and learn about vehicles in a way no other game can. Fans who pick up “Forza Motorsport 4” will be treated to a first look at the “Halo 4” model Warthog and an interactive experience narrated by none other than the voice of Cortana. “Forza Motorsport 4” releases in the US starting Oct. 11 and across Europe Oct. 14.