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‘Halo 4′ launching on Nov. 6

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Halo 4 (Microsoft)

As America elects its Commander in Chief, Xbox 360 owners will likely elect to spend some time with a different sort of Chief.

Microsoft has unveiled an Election Day launch date for the next installment in its flagship Halo series -- quite possibly the last Halo game for this generation of console systems.

Halo 4 marks a new beginning for the franchise, as it's the first entry being entirely made by a developer other than series creator Bungie. Microsoft internal studio 343 Industries is running the show now.

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

Microsoft revealed a few gameplay details last month, including a redesigned HUD and the return of the awesome Battle Rifle. But while Microsoft tipped the launch date in a press release Tuesday morning, the real fanfare announcement will come this evening on TBS' Conan. The show will feature a special segment on the game.

Conan O'Brien and Microsoft have a long history together. After the talk show host left NBC in 2010, he considered taking his show to Xbox Live. Though the deal never materialized, he's clearly still a fan.

[Related: Conan O'Brien Unveils the Future of Twitter: Manual Tweets]

The Halo series has sold more than 40 million games since its debut in 2001. The launch of Halo 3 in 2007 was, at the time, the biggest consumer product launch ever. Times have changed, though, and Call of Duty is the industry's new 500 lb. gorilla. A new game from that franchise will almost certainly launch within a week or two of Halo 4, setting up one seriously titanic shootout this holiday.

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