No Halo 3 in 2006?

Rumour mill's a-grinding.

Rumour has it that the third instalment in the Halo series - frequently hailed as the Xbox 360's ultimate killer app - won't hit the shelves before the end of the year.

Mongering said rumour is gaming blog Kotaku, which has published a scan of a company email apparently sent out by US retailer GameStop.

According to the email, "Microsoft has stated that Halo 3 WILL NOT be released in 2006." And they've underlined that last bit, just to be clear.

But is the email "for real", as they say over there? Well, Kotaku seems to think so, and US website Gamespot claims another GameStop insider has confirmed its authenticity.

As for Microsoft? Well - you'll never guess what's coming next - a spokesperson told Eurogamer: "We have not made any announcements in regards to Bungie Studios' next project. When we have more information to release on the Halo franchise, we will share it."

Course, lots of Microsoft bigwigs have confirmed that Halo 3 is in development, and last year Bill Gates himself hinted that it would be released just in time to steal some of Sony's thunder when the PS3 launches

Gates backtracked on that earlier this month, however, stating: "It's up to the team when they want to ship [Halo 3], and they're going to take their time to make that a super great product. So even we don't know when that will come out."

Hrm...

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