NEWS - Thursday, March 15, 2007

Halo 3 Slated for September

Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Studios aim to ship Halo 3 in September, well before the biggest holiday rush begins, IGN learned last week from two independent sources who asked to remain anonymous. A big-name publisher and well-established development house separately revealed to IGN that Microsoft intends on beating this year’s stacked holiday rush with a September release, rather than the assumed November timeframe. When phoned, a Microsoft representative said it has only publicly confirmed a fall release, with no specific day or month slated. The developer, which is close with Bungie, said by getting Halo 3 out early it will sell more systems faster and give Microsoft a head start on its competition, which is likely to ship games in the more traditional months of October and November. Halo 3’s popularity makes it the perfect killer app and system seller to give Microsoft an edge over Sony’s and Nintendo’s hefty set of games coming this fall. The original Halo shipped with the launch of the first Xbox in November 2001. The sequel, Halo 2, shipped in November 2004. With both games, Microsoft’s strategy was to give Bungie as much time as possible to hone and polish their title before reaching QA and the finalization process. But this time, Bungie is on schedule and aims to surprise the world by shipping two months earlier than assumed. IGN was told that was the goal, at least. With all development processes, nothing is certain, both added. Halo 3 could need another month or two, pushing it to October or the assumed November slot if necessary.


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