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Halo 2 could slip

Or "it might not", says Robbie Bach.

Microsoft's Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach, speaking before Bill Gates' keynote address at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show on Wednesday, reportedly told reporters that Halo 2 might not make its April release target.

Bach also commented on Microsoft's retail fortunes over the Christmas 2003 season, telling Reuters that Xbox outsold GameCube. "Christmas was good, we feel like we had a very good holiday," Bach said.

As for Halo 2, Bach was keen to stress that "We're going to ship it when it's ready," adding "That might be the first half of 2004, it might not. You have to be careful with franchises like this." Halo 2 had originally been due out in time for Christmas, but was set back to Q1 2004 to ensure developer Bungie could create the best game possible.

Whenever Microsoft ships Halo 2, it's bound to emulate the success of its forebear, which is by far the console's biggest selling game.