A quiet update to Lionhead's official frequently asked questions (FAQ) document for Fable has shed some light on the game's current release target.
Under the question of, simply, "When will it be out?", an update stamped June 2nd simply reads, "Fable will be out in September 2004 in all NTSC (USA) territories and in October 2004 for PAL (Europe) territories."
The game had previously been expected in a late summer window, although that date had been rather beaten out of the developer and it's probably unfair to characterise this latest understated update as 'further slippage'.
Fable, in development at Lionhead satellite studio Big Blue Box, is an extremely ambitious Xbox exclusive fantasy title, fittingly designed with input from Black & White creator Peter Molyneux.
The game was originally expected to be an Xbox Live compatible, multiplayer-enabled title, and distinctly open-ended in single-player terms (effectively charting and allowing you to dictate the lifespan of the game's hero), but earlier this year we were told some refocusing was on the cards, with multiplayer lopped off and a more linear approach applied.
Still, things may often change with Lionhead titles between conception and release, but the results are always intriguing, and the recent E3 showing certainly caught people's attention. Should it hit its October release date, it will doubtless prove interesting enough to stand out from the traditional throng of pre-Christmas releases.