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Big shops say Max Payne 3 in 2011

Amazon and GameStop prepare buyers.

The Max Payne 3 release date will be 1st December 2011, according to Amazon and GameStop.

Amazon, in an email to customers (caught by RockstarWatch), claimed the game's date had been "changed by the publisher".

RockstarWatch also discovered entries for Max Payne 3 in new Nvidia graphics cards drivers. And why would they be there if the game wasn't close?

Nevertheless, lack of Max Payne 3 press six months from release raises questions.

But there are glimmers of hope: magazine previews of Max Payne 3 surfaced in April, and Take-Two insisted the game was "still in development" in May.

But Max Payne 3 still remains absent from Take-Two schedules and earning calls. And we heard similar shop-related predictions about Max Payne 3's intended 2009 release date back at the time.

Treat this, then, with caution.