The Tech News Blog

July 15, 2012

Microsoft Unveils $399 Halo 4 Xbox 360 Bundle

Halo 4 Bundle

Microsoft this week descended on San Diego's Comic-Con to unveil a limited-edition Halo 4 Xbox 360 bundle.

The $399 bundle is available for pre-order now, and will be released on Nov. 6, the same day Halo 4 hits store shelves.

The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 4 console bundle includes the custom-designed 320GB console with built-in Wi-Fi and two exclusive Halo 4 controllers, a standard edition copy of the game, a wired headset, and Xbox Live tokens for in-game and marketplace content. The "ring of light" on the console will glow blue to match the overall Halo 4 color scheme, Microsoft said.

If you don't have $399 to spare, Microsoft and 343 Industries are also offering a standalone 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," Microsoft said in a press release.

The controller will also feature a glowing blue Xbox Guide button. It will be available Nov. 6 for $59.99.

June 4, 2012

Microsoft Shows Off Halo 4, Splinter Cell: Blacklist Trailers at E3

South Park E3

LOS ANGELES—Hundreds of people crowded into the Galen Center in Los Angeles to see Microsoft's E3 2012 presentation here today, with a Halo 4 trailer kicking things off.

The trailer showed Master Chief navigating through a jungle to go after a crashed battleship. Covenant forces appeared, but they quickly vaporized from a new threat. Red light swept across the crowd as a giant orb-shaped ship loomed over Master Chief. The new enemies are "definitely not Covenant," and definitely not part of the Flood.

It looks like the new Halo game will focus on artificial enemies directly connected to the Forerunners, the creators of the Halos. New weapons include Forerunner assault rifles and shotguns that have a distinctly high-tech and sinister glowing red design.

The video ended with Master Chief getting ambushed by invisible enemies who knock him to the ground. The tagline of the trailer is the mysterious "An Ancient Evil Awakens," with a sinister voice saying, "I have long awaited for this day, Reclaimer."

The second game was a surprise: a new Splinter Cell. Splinter Cell: Blacklist showed Sam Fischer brutalizing terrorists trying to find out information about a mysterious blacklist, a series of terrorist attacks against U.S. interests. The gameplay video showed Sam at the Iran-Iraq border trying to capture a terrorist leader in order to prevent the next attack. Besides the game's signature stealth, Sam brutalized guards via "killing in motion," or rapidly tagging guards and killing them with gunshots and brutal melee attacks while navigating through the area. He used classic distraction maneuvers and high-tech attacks including air strikes, called through Kinect voice control. The game seems to be a strong contrast from the last game, Splinter Cell: Conviction, because Sam has taken his place as the head of Third Echelon, which provides him with many more tools.

April 17, 2012

Halo 4 Coming November 6

Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed that Halo 4 will be released on Nov. 6.

Pre-orders are now being accepted by Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Walmart, and the Microsoft Store for $59.99.

"November 6 is an important date in Halo's vast and fascinating history. For the uninitiated, that was the day the Master Chief found a weapon, a parched Grunt stumbled upon the starship, and Staff Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson discovered the answer to one of life's most perplexing questions," Microsoft wrote on the Xbox website.

Halo 4 director Frank O'Connor and executive producer Kiki Wolfkill will appear on Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show tonight at 11pm to divulge "how Conan O'Brien and his side-kick Andy Richter are connected to Master Chief and Halo 4."

Halo 3 ended with the Master Chief "deep in cryogenic sleep, drifting toward a mysterious Forerunner planet, with Cortana instructed to wake him if she needs him." Microsoft says the chief's alarm clock is now officially set for Nov. 6, when he will return to action.

The new game marks the start of a new triology, Microsoft said.