Video from the launch event in London
Photos from the London event as well as the one here in Seattle.
I’ll add videos and photos as they come in
Video from the launch event in London
Photos from the London event as well as the one here in Seattle.
I’ll add videos and photos as they come in
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.
This playlist has all five episodes in order so you can watch them back to back and prepare for the release of Halo 4 next week.
Watch it above or on YouTube
The archive from the live stream I hosted with 343 Industries earlier this week.
Fast Forward to 4:30 for the start of the stream, but there is a lot to digest here about Halo 4’s Multiplayer.
The Limited Edition is going to be really hard to find, but the standard version is still available.
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.
With less than a week to go before Halo 4 goes on sale around the world, 343 Industries will be streaming some multiplayer matches live on Wednesday, October 31st at 2:30p ET/11:30a PT below or on their Twitch.TV channel.
I’ll be hosting the live stream and taking your questions via Twitter tagged with #Halo4Stream, or you can leave them in the comments below.
Update. Thanks for everyone who came by to watch. Here is the on-demand version of the stream.
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.
Enter and win great prizes. Hit the details on the video page for a full breakdown of what is up for grabs.
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:
Kinect on Xbox 360
Xbox LIVE Arcade
Xbox 360 Hardware
Retail titles Xbox
LIVE Arcade titles
|Today you can save 50% on Halo:Reach Map Packs and more. Don’t own Halo:Reach yet?
The full version of the game is also on sale and available for direct download from Xbox LIVE.
Here is a breakdown of today’s Halo special offers:
|Halo Reach Noble Map Pack||800||400|
|Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack||800||400|
|Halo Reach full game download||Varies by region||Varies by region|
|Halo Reach Anchor 9 Premium Theme||240||120|
|Halo: Reach Noble Team Theme||240||120|
|Halo Energy Sword Prop||240||120|
|Halo: Reach Kat Spartan 320 Armor Male||400||200|
|Halo: Reach Kat Spartan 320 Armor Female||400||200|
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.
Here is a look at some of the upcoming content scheduled for the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.*
See blog post I’ll make for many of these for pricing and/or regional availability and follow me on Twitter for updates.
|Xbox LIVE Arcade||Release Date||MS Points|
|War of the Worlds||26-Oct||800|
|Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone||26-Oct||800|
|Game Add-ons||Release Date||MS Points|
|Batman: Arkham City Catwoman Bundle Pack||18-Oct||800|
|Deus Ex Missing Link Campaign||18-Oct||1200|
|Mercury Hg Add-On||19-Oct||160|
|Toy Soldiers: Cold War Evil Empire Pack.||26-Oct||240|
|A World of Keflings It Came From Outerspace Add-On||26-Oct||320|
|Pinball FX 2 Paranormal Table||26-Oct||Free from Oct 26 – Nov. 1, after that 240|
|Sales & Specials||Discount Date||Discount|
|Shocktober Savings||18-Oct – 31-Oct||up to 50%|
|Kinect Anniversary Celebration||23-Oct – 5-Nov||up to 50%|
|Deal of the Week||Discount Dates||Discounted Price|
|Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack||18-Oct||400 (50% off)|
|Halo: Reach Noble Map Pack||18-Oct||400 (50% off)|
|Dead Rising||25-Oct||25% off|
|Dead Rising 2: Case West||25-Oct||400 (50% off)|
|Dead Rising 2: Case Zero||25-Oct||200 (50% off)|
|Dance Central 2||20-Oct|
|MTV Beavis & Butt-head||24-Oct|
|Battlefield 3 update||25-Oct|
|Kinect Sports: Season Two||25-Oct|
|War of the Worlds||26-Oct|
|Lord of the Rings: War in the North||27-Oct|
|Games on Demand||Release Date|
|Little League World Series 2010||18-Oct|
|Top Spin 4||18-Oct|
*As with all game related releases, dates, prices and availability are subject to change and vary by region.
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.
If you are attending PAX Prime, you owe it to yourself to drop by Halo Fest (free w/ your Pax badge) to check out some of the announcements. Here are details about the event to help get you started.
Content: Halo: Reach – Defiant Map Pack
Price: 800 Microsoft Points
Availability: Check availability for your region
Dash Text: (Note: A hard drive with at least 1 gigabyte of available storage is recommended and required for some online features. For compatibility with Halo: Reach, the Defiant Map Pack cannot be installed to an external memory device if a hard drive is present.) The fight for humanity’s survival rages on in three brand-new battlefields: a giant orbital station high above the burning surface of the planet, inside the forest of a military wilderness-training facility, and wrapped in the remnants of a civilian mining facility. These awesome new environments comprise 2 multiplayer maps and a Firefight mission that deliver 3 new achievements and 150 gamerscore. Developed by 343 Industries and Certain Affinity.
Waiting to get your hands on the Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack? If you are in the Seattle area I’ve got some good news for you. On Wednesday, March 9th I’ll be hosting a special preview event with 343 Industries at the Microsoft Store in Bellevue. During the event, the Halo experts at 343 Industries
be on hand to discuss what went into designing the new maps and they’ll do a full walk through of each of the two new multiplayer maps and the new Firefight Map.
|What||Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack Preview Event|
|When||Wednesday, March 9th from 7pm – 8pm|
|Where||The Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square|
|Why||Meet some of the members of 343 Industries as they give you an in-depth, personalized tour of the Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack, which releases on March 15th.
PLUS: We’ll also have some Halo merchandise to give away
See you Wednesday.
Three new multiplayer maps are coming next month for Halo: Reach.
Here are the details (plus screenshots) that I’ve scraped from the press release:
Condemned: Condemned takes place aboard Orbital Station Gamma, a massive space station high in orbit above the planet Reach. Prior to the Covenant’s overwhelming invasion, Orbital Station Gamma provided long range communications for UNSC fleets and a vital lifeline between Reach and Earth. During the Battle of Reach, the station suffered terrible punishment at the hands of the Covenant but a few fortified sections remain intact, fully pressurized, and ready for combat. Condemned supports 6 – 12 players in a variety of action-packed game types, including Team Slayer, Team Objective and Free for All.
Highlands:Highlands takes place on the top-secret Military Wilderness Training Preserve on Reach. The Preserve is a large, wooded area where Spartan super-soldiers trained long before the war with the Covenant began. During the Battle of Reach, the Preserve was the site of key battles between the alien invaders and a group of Spartans who used their familiarity with these UNSC training grounds to significant tactical advantage…but not everyone who enters these woods makes it out alive. Highlands expands the fight with massive-scale engagements for 8 – 16 players in Big Team Battle, Team Slayer and Team Objective.
Unearthed takes the battle for Reach to a large Titanium mine and refinery located in the Viery civilian sector of the planet. This particular mine was built to take advantage of the exposed titanium inside a massive meteor crater. The titanium produced here is used in much of the UNSC hardware, from the chassis of the Warthog to the meters-thick armor plating of capital ships like the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. While this facility was quickly abandoned when the Covenant arrived on Reach, it still has significant tactical (and economic) value and it won’t be long before both humans and Covenant return to battle for control. Unearthed allows up to 4 players to launch a counterassault against the Covenant in Firefight and Firefight modes such as Generator Defense.
Created in partnership with Certain Affinity, the Defiant Map Pack will be available this March on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft points, and will include all new Achievements worth a total of 150 Gamerscore. Keep an eye on Halo Waypoint for a brand new trailer. Or watch it out on Waypoint’s YouTube page.
Content: Halo: Reach – Noble Map Pack
Price: 800 Microsoft Points
Availability: All Xbox LIVE regions
Dash Text: The fight for humanity rages on a galactic scale. From a frozen xeno-archaeology site harboring secrets millennia old to an orbital anchor defending the stars high above planet Reach – and to mysterious places far, far beyond – Bungie’s Noble Map Pack injects three new explosive environments into the multiplayer battlefield, each designed to reinforce all of Halo: Reach’s vital warfronts, from small scale engagements to massive Invasion battlegrounds.
We are a week away from the launch of Halo: Reach and we have some activities planned. If you are in the New York area, join me Monday at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square for what promises to be a pretty big deal.
In Seattle? We’ve got you covered there as well. We also have thousands of events across the country at various retailers. Hit this press release for more details.
Update: I’ll make another post when I have more details (time etc.) about the NYC event
Last week, I shared the audio that the new Xbox 360 console makes. When the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo Reach console is available next month, it will have custom Halo inspired sounds when you press the power button or the disc eject tray. Even though not that many of you will be pressing the eject button after Sept. 14th, I wanted to give you a preview of what you can expect when you get your new console.
I’ve created two versions of each. One is the MP3 version that should work for most of your needs and the other is an iPhone friendly ring tone* version.
We are releasing these under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.
*Sorry, the iPhone won’t allow you to customize your SMS alerts. Feel free to make a feature request though