Last week, Epic Games vice president Mark Rein promised a "BIG announcement" on the company's Gears of War message boards. One poster implied that the announcement would be the game's release date, to which Rein responded, "Sounds like maybe the announcement that is going to be made isn't what you think it is."
Regardless of whether or not it was the big announcement, the Gears of War release date has been confirmed. The game's publisher, Microsoft, today announced that "Emergence Day," when the game will be available in North American stores, will take place on Sunday, November 12, of this year. UK stores will begin selling the game November 17.
That puts Microsoft's biggest Xbox 360 title this holiday season in US retailers less than a week before Sony launches the PlayStation 3 and at UK storefronts day-and-date with the new console. There has been a great deal of speculation as to how Microsoft would counter the PS3 launch, from Bill Gates suggesting that Halo 3 could see release alongside the rival machine to shot-down rumors of a price drop for the system.
Gears of War will be available in two packages: a $59.99 standard edition and a $69.99 limited edition. The more expensive version will feature metallic packaging, a Destroyed Beauty art book, and an extra DVD with a "making of" video.