The ongoing Half-Life 2 pre-load saga hit its fifth phase last night, with Steam account holders able to continue downloading the Counter-Strike: Source maps in encrypted form.
With the ongoing legal saga between Valve and its publisher Vivendi-Universal, it seems possible that the game may end up suffering further delays, but as it stands, neither Valve nor Vivendi have given the slightest public indication when the game will ship. UK retailers have been insisting, off the record, for some time that the game will not be shipping this year. When posed the question recently, Valve declined to comment.
But with a release candidate having been in the possession of VU for over two weeks, and all the various pack configurations having been announced, it would be an extraordinary missed opportunity from VU's point of view to allow a legal battle to delay the most anticipated PC game of the year.