Halo 4 is now available for pre-order and Microsoft has just announced a limited edition version of the game that will be available on launch day, November 6. The limited edition will cost $100 and includes extra content not available to those who purchase the standard edition.
The limited edition of Halo 4 will come in the packaging seen above. Included with the game is informational material detailing the armor, weapons, and ships of Halo 4. Also included is a special 90-minute extended edition of the web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, complete with featurettes and behind-the-scenes material. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is a live-action web series that Microsoft will air in the months leading up to Halo 4's release.
As for the game content provided with the limited edition, players will gain early access to three extra multiplayer maps from the War Games map pack. Limited edition buyers also get free downloads of three planned future map packs, each containing a total of three maps.
Limited edition purchasers will have the ability to unlock six "specializations" before they are available to standard edition purchasers. Microsoft states that "specializations" can be used to achieve higher spartan career rankings. Other than the fact that they "unlock new customization options," it is unknown exactly what "specializations" are. However, if they increase a player's chance at winning in Halo 4's multiplayer, Microsoft could see a bit of a backlash from the Halo community. Players have never been comfortable with "pay for power" schemes in anything other than free-to-play games. More information about these "specializations" will be available at next month's E3 gaming convention.
The free map packs alone make the Limited Edition of Halo 4 a good investment for players who anticipate playing the game well into the future. Still, Microsoft is choosing to hold back content that could (or very well may be) on the Halo 4 disc in order to sell it to players for an extra fee. This will serve to bifurcate the Halo 4 multiplayer community, at launch, into haves and have-nots. Less fortunate Halo fans who already see the $60 price tag of the standard edition of Halo 4 as a large investment will already be left behind.