NEWS - Friday, January 27, 2006

Could Halo 3 Miss 2006?

If Microsoft has a sleeping giant in waiting for the Xbox 360, then that game is undoubtedly Halo 3. Bungie’s much-awaited third instalment in the series will certainly send Xbox 360s flying off of store shelves. But according to retail rumours in the US, we might have to wait until next year before the Master Chief’s next outing is unleashed on the console. Gaming blog, quoting a company insider of US retail chain Gamestop, report that an internal e-mail dashes hopes of Halo 3 in 2006. The e-mail reportedly says that "Microsoft has stated that Halo 3 WILL NOT be released in 2006." Interestingly, the company’s website still has the Halo sequel listed for an estimated date of "October 2006." Perhaps adding fuel to the fire, Microsoft boss Bill Gates recently stated that Halo 3 would not be released to counter the fast-approaching launch of the Playstation 3, commenting that "it’s up to the [Halo 3] team when they want to ship that, and they’re going to take their time to make that a super great product." If the retail source is right - and we have to say that is a major if, of Jimmy Hill chin-scratching proportions - it would be undoubtedly a big blow for the Xbox 360, which will be seeing heavy competition from the PlayStation 3 and Revolution this year. However we reckon we smell its fishier than a haddock’s speedos. Despite those familiar ’when it’s done’ protestations, Microsoft simply cannot afford to let Halo 3 slip to 2007. When the 360 is freely available, it’ll need a monster title to drive sales and Halo 3 is that title. More evidence? Well what about the Halo 3 marketing and pre-order campaign kicking off in the US before Christmas? Doubtful whether that would happen if there was more than a year to go. Consign this one to the dustbin of history, we’ll see Halo 3 this year and the sooner the better.


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