Originally believed to be released in the later parts of
fall, Bungie just revealed that its hotly anticipated Halo 3 will see stores
just two days into the season. Halo 3 will be released in North America on
September 25, with the European release hitting the day after.
The announcement of Halo 3’s official release date comes
just hours before the Halo 3 multiplayer
public beta hits Xbox Live, currently scheduled for 5 a.m. PDT on May 16.
According to comments made by Bungie executive producer
Jonty Barnes, much of Halo 3 is complete – all that remains are the finishing
touches. “Essentially at this point in the project all the hard-planned
scheduling time is behind us and we’re no longer reevaluating or unblocking
dependencies, we’re moving into polish the game,” he said “What this means is
when I’m looking at the game now it’s a representative experience and working
with the team to make targeted and iterative improvements.”
So what does a hard street date mean for the developers?
Barnes says, “Not much for Bungie, that’s been the plan for months and
months. The only thing it does however is make the end seem very, very real to
Although the earlier-than-expected ship date for Halo 3 is a
mild surprise, word about the release date may have first slipped from
Microsoft Games Studios’ Shane Kim, who said in a 1UP interview, “If [Bungie]
can get [Halo 3] out before GTA4, they probably feel like that's better, sort
of like Xbox 360 coming out before PlayStation 3.”
Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Studios announced in March
that Halo 3 will
come in three versions when it is released later this year. The Standard
Edition ($59.99) will feature just the game. The Limited Edition ($69.99) will
come on a metal collector’s case and will feature a bonus disc and art book.
The Legendary Edition ($129.99) will come with a Spartan Helmet, two bonus
discs and storyboard art.