Halo 4 – arguably the biggest videogame launch of 2012 – will go on sale on 6 November.

The latest title in the blockbuster franchise – which has sold more than 40 million games and spun off into books, clothing and toys, including the successful MegaBloks range – was announced last year but the release date was not known until yesterday’s announcement by Microsoft.

Available only on the Xbox 360, Halo 4 will be set four years after the events in Halo 3 and will continue the story of hero Master Chief, who returns to confront an ancient evil that threatens the entire universe. It is expected to be the start of a new trilogy of games and features gameplay changes including revamped multiplayer gaming and a new experience system.

“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 Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer.

“Millions of fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to step back into the boots of Master Chief.”