By Darren Franich
April 17, 2012 at 05:36 PM EDT

On November 15, 2001, the release of Halo: Combat Evolved proved that the tanklike Xbox could be a serious competitor in the videogame market. Almost eleven years later, the newest incarnation of the epoch-defining franchise will arrive. This morning, Microsoft announced in a press release that Halo 4 will hit stores on November 6. The game will be the first since 2007’s Halo 3 to feature protagonist Master Chief. (The press release notes that Fast Company considers the iconic space marine “one of the most popular characters in gaming history,” although he couldn’t even break the top 20 in EW’s controversial-in-our-offices list of the 25 Coolest Videogame Characters.)

Halo 4 will be the first entry in the franchise not made by creator Bungie, and will reportedly introduce some new (or new-ish) gaming mechanics to the franchise. Since early November is usually the launchpad for the newest entry in the Call of Duty series, start getting excited about a potential Halo/CoD media showdown. (Somewhere, Medal of Honor and Battlefield are hugging each other through the tears.)

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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