Halo 4 release date confirmed for November by Microsoft

Character firing weapon in Halo: Reach
The Halo series has proved extremely popular with gamers

The next instalment in the popular Halo video game series has been given a global release date of 6 November.

Microsoft said it marked a "new beginning" for the series, which it confirmed would now continue for the next decade.

The new game will be set four years after Halo 3 and see the game's hero, Master Chief, "confront his destiny and face an ancient evil".

Halo games have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

The first-person shooter first appeared on the original Xbox console in 2001, before moving to the Xbox 360 with games like Halo 3 and Halo Reach.

Developer 343 Industries, part of Microsoft's in-house games department, will be in charge of producing the new Halo for the first time.

It's taking over from Bungie who made the previous games in the series.

Halo's November release means the game is likely to face tough competition from other highly-anticipated titles.

Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto 5 is rumoured for an October 2012 release, while Assassin's Creed 3 and Resident Evil 6 are out in the same month.

For the last three years, the Call of Duty series has dominated the November games release schedule.

Much-publicised titles like Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops have sold millions of copies in the lucrative run-up to Christmas.

Microsoft will be looking to rival that success but will also be competing with another high-profile event - the US presidential election, which takes place on the same day.