Microsoft Corp. this week said online services for Halo 4 for the Xbox 360 will be backed by Windows Azure, a cloud-platform used to deploy and manage online applications.

Windows Azure allows developers to scale up or scale down services depending on user demand, including new online modes like Spartan Ops, an episodic campaign mode in which users can jump into new episodes each week.

A high-demand online title like Halo 4 can incur hundreds of thousands of requests per second.

Halo 4, to be sold Nov. 6, is the beginning of Reclaimer Saga, an epic new adventure in the Halo universe.

The title will include a new Spartan Ops mode to extend the campaign experience with new weekly downloadable episodes to be played solo or in co-op.

In addition, the title will include brand new multiplayer game modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, loadouts, and progression system.

The Halo 4 Limited Edition SKU will include War Game Map Packs for access to nine maps, early access to six Specializations to access new ranks and new customization options, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn – a 90-minute extended version of the live action digital series, and bonus digital content to download via Xbox Live at $99.99.

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