Halo Reach dated

Word from a Microsoft press release quietly slipped out on Yahoo is that Xbox 360 FPS Halo: Reach is set for a worldwide release on September 14th.

The only region to miss out on that date is Japan, which will see the game arrive at retail a day later.

Microsoft has also released some fresh numbers about the Halo Reach beta. Altogether over 16m hours and 1.1bn kills were recorded over the 18 day test.

The beta exceeded our expectations,” Bungie Studios community director Brian Jarrard explained.

Our only real perspective going into this was the Halo 3 beta test, which had about 800k people. We knew there were a couple million copies of ODST out there, but we really didn’t have any specific information that let us know what the population might be like.”

Creative director Marcus Letho also touched on the huge pressure Bungie has put on itself to deliver a title can match the biggest performers in the series – Halo 2 and Halo 3.

We always want to give our fanbase something new and fresh,” he added. We definitely wanted to give them something new to sink their teeth into with Reach, and maybe even grow our audience bigger than we’re typically used to seeing.

This is the most pressure we’ve ever been under. This is the biggest Halo title we’ve ever made, and we’re worried there’s Hal’ fatigue out there. That’s why we set out to add new twists, and we’re happy to see people enjoy it.

It’s absolutely bittersweet. We created this. I was there on day one in 1997 back when it was just three of us working on what ultimately became Halo. Now, we have the largest team we’ve ever had on a Halo game. We’re having fun, but closing this series out as the leader of this project, I will definitely be sad when it’s all over.”

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