Thursday, March 15, 2007

Halo 3 targeted for September

If IGN's sources are to be believed we could all be "Finishing the Fight" much earlier than anticipated. Owing to a crowded holiday release schedule, Microsoft and Bungie are allegedly striving to get the biggest game of this generation out before the annual flood of holiday titles begins.

While no date has been given for Halo 3 outside of "Fall 2007", November seemed to be the likeliest release month as it has traditionally been the month of the Xbox: from the launch in 2001, to the release of Gears of War last year you can almost always expect a defining release in November.

A September release could be as much political as anything. Back in 2004, Halo 2 released only 2 weeks after Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a PS2 exclusive. This fall sees these two uber-franchises facing off again, only this time Grand Theft Auto IV is a fellow 360 title.

Halo 3 is obviously the 360's most anticipated exclusive title yet and will undoubtedly move a lot of systems off of store shelves whenever it's released. This would be a tremendous pre-emptive strike against the PlayStation 3, the biggest Fall title for which, exclusive or not, is...Grand Theft Auto IV. Releasing before GTA boosts the installed base and sets up GTA (and everything else) for even bigger sales than if Halo 3 came out afterwards.

It's a big statement to consumers: the two biggest titles of the year, one is on PS3 but BOTH are on 360. More importantly, it leaves the normally packed November time frame free for other major titles to release without having to get lost in the frenzy that will surround both titles.

Source: Halo 3 Slated for September -IGN 360

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