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Gears of War 4 release date moves to fall 2016

Previously, the Xbox One game was scheduled for "holiday 2016"; plus, Microsoft says 45 percent of Ultimate Edition players are new to Gears of War.

During a livestream broadcast today, representatives for Microsoft confirmed that Gears of War 4 may launch a little sooner than expected.

The company announced that the Xbox One game is now slated to launch in fall 2016 (via NeoGAF). Previously, the action game -- which was officially announced at E3 last summer -- was slated for "holiday 2016."

You may not have to wait until fall 2016 to play, however, as the Gears of War 4 beta is scheduled to arrive this spring. The more than 1 million people who bought Gears of War Ultimate Edition get to play first.

Also during the livestream, it was revealed that 45 percent of Ultimate Edition players are new to the Gears of War franchise. This would theoretically bode well for Gears of War 4. But note that Ultimate Edition was included with the Xbox One Black Friday bundle, which Microsoft continues to sell.

For more on the Gears of War franchise, you can read our interview with producer Rod Fergusson about Ultimate Edition, Gears of War 4 and the future of the Gears of War series. Keep an eye on GameSpot for more news about Gears of War 4 in the coming months.