Gates' Halo 3 Release Date Only A 'Maybe'

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Microsoft senior vice president and chief Xbox officer Robbie Bach all but says that Bill Gates misspoke himself at E3 when he referred to Halo 3 being used to blunt Sony's launch of the PlayStation 3.

At E3, Gates said "It's perfect. The day Sony launches, and they walk right into Halo 3." Meanwhile, Frankie told Bungie fans the week before E3 that no announcements were imminent, and now Bach is saying "We haven't announced anything on what Bungie is doing or where we're going with the future of the 'Halo' franchise." The specific language does more than just retract Gates' statement, it confirms Bungie's treasured independence from Microsoft:

With all respect to Bill, I don't run Bungie's studio, and neither does he. We'll work with the Bungie guys and let people know."

There's no indication there of anything relating to Halo being done by anyone other than Bungie, despite the fact that Gates didn't mention Bungie by name. So, as incredible as it sounds, it seems as if Gates was just off the mark on this one. As it stands, when Sony announced a projected launch date for their new console of "spring 2006" as the article cites, it changed Gates' deadline from being difficult to meet to being next to impossible.

Thanks to Louis Wu of HBO for the heads-up on this story.