Bookending Microsoft's Pre-E3 press conference today, the mega-publisher announced both a high-definition, remastered version of the original Halo: Combat Evolved and a direct sequel to Halo 3 that looks poised to continue the story of Master Chief and Cortana.
Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the original Xbox on November 15, 2001. It was a standout title, garnering rave reviews and innovations in first-person shooter mechanics that persist to this day. The series maintained its popularity with a pair of increasingly popular sequels, a side-story, and a prequel in addition to non-interactive media set in the game's science-fiction universe. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will be released exactly a decade later, commemorating the original title's tenth anniversary on November 15 of this year with high definition graphics, a remastered campaign and improved versions of its original multiplayer maps.
Halo 4, announced at the very end of the Microsoft press conference, heralds the start of a new trilogy and opens with Cortana calling out to a hibernating Master Chief. This titles, due out in the holiday season of 2012, looks to pick up directly where, if not when, Halo 3 left off.